Exploratory eye movement dysfunction as a discriminator for schizophrenia: A large sample study using a newly developed digital computerized system

Masahiro Suzuki, Sakae Takahashi, Eisuke Matsushima, Masahiko Tsunoda, Masayoshi Kurachi, Takashi Okada, Takuji Hayashi, Yohei Ishii, Kiichiro Morita, Hisao Maeda, Seiji Katayama, Ryuzou Kawahara, Tatsui Otsuka, Yoshio Hirayasu, Mizuho Sekine, Yoshiro Okubo, Mai Motoshita, Katsuya Ohta, Makoto Uchiyama, Takuya Kojima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


In our previous studies, we identified that exploratory eye movement (EEM) dysfunction appears to be specific to schizophrenia. The availability of a biological marker specific to schizophrenia would be useful for clinical diagnosis of schizophrenia. Consequently, we performed the discriminant analysis between schizophrenics and non-schizophrenics on a large sample using the EEM test data and examined an application of the EEM for clinical diagnosis of schizophrenia. EEM performances were recorded in 251 schizophrenics and 389 non-schizophrenics (111 patients with mood disorders, 28 patients with neurotic disorders and 250 normal controls). The patients were recruited from eight university hospitals and three affiliated hospitals. For this study with a large sample, we developed a new digital computerized version of the EEM test, which automatically handled large amounts of data. We measured four parameters: number of eye fixations (NEF), total eye scanning length (TESL), mean eye scanning length (MESL) and responsive search score (RSS). These parameters of schizophrenics differed significantly from those of the other three groups. The stepwise regression analysis selected the TESL and the RSS as the valid parameters for discriminating between schizophrenics and non-schizophrenics. In the discriminant analysis using the RSS and TESL as prediction parameters, 184 of the 251 clinically diagnosed schizophrenics were discriminated as having schizophrenia (sensitivity 73.3%); and 308 of the 389 clinically diagnosed non-schizophrenic subjects were discriminated as non-schizophrenics (specificity 79.2%). Based on our findings we believe that the EEM measures may be useful for the clinical diagnosis of schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)186-194
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Apr
Externally publishedYes


  • Biological marker
  • Digital computerized system of the EEM test
  • Discriminant analysis
  • Exploratory eye movement (EEM)
  • Schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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