2019 Fiscal Year Annual Research Report
Investigating Visual Attention Deficits in Schizophrenia and Mood Disorder Patients
|Research Institution||Kyushu University |
上田 和夫 九州大学, 芸術工学研究院, 准教授 (80254316)
|Foreign Research Fellow
WOLF ALEXANDRA 九州大学, 芸術工学研究科(研究院), 外国人特別研究員
|Project Period (FY)
2019-10-11 – 2022-03-31
|Keywords||Eye-tracking / schizophrenia / mood disorder / psychosis / visual processing|
|Outline of Annual Research Achievements
Based on normal population studies, visual behavior is tightly linked to learning, associative memory, problem solving, judgment tasks concerning food products, and decision-making under uncertainty (Wolf et al., 2018; Wolf et al., 2019). Particularly viewing time (gaze duration) appears to be a very useful index of the extent of information processing. Importantly, in addition to healthy subjects, it is well known that many psychiatric patients have problems with decision-making which lead to severe psychosocial deficits (e.g., Spencer et al., 2017). Thus, it is crucial to investigate preference formation in clinical populations.
In the first 6 months of the JSPS Fellowship, we gathered scientific journals and manuscripts, which investigate the utility of eye movement abnormalities in identifying patients with schizophrenia from healthy controls. To gather more connections in the medical field Dr. Alexandra Wolf attended he 10th Takeda Science Foundation Symposium on Mental Illness (24-25. January, 2020), where variety of mechanistic hypotheses on mental illness and conceive methodologies to test them, were constructed together with world leading researchers.
Importantly, our research topic passed the Maidashi Hospital Ethical Committee Validation. That enables us to collect data from clinical patients. The proposed experiment (Wolf et al., 2019) has been translated into a Matlab code and effectively connected with the eye-tracker (Eye Link 1000). After that pre-experimental trials have been successfully conducted.
|Current Status of Research Progress
Current Status of Research Progress
2: Research has progressed on the whole more than it was originally planned.
As we claimed, experiencing and consuming food is hedonic, whereas patients with psychosis and mood disorders often experience anhedonia (dysfunction in experiencing pleasure). Psychologically, general food reward mechanisms are mediated by either “liking” or volitional “wanting”. According to vast literature, both mechanisms are disrupted in psychosis. In our experimental paradigm, which has been successfully coded (Matlab) and connected with Eye Link 1000, we will investigate evaluative responses toward food images under those two different mechanisms (liking and wanting). The data collection from clinical participants will start from April 2020.
|Strategy for Future Research Activity
The results of all preference formation experiments will be compared with results of preliminary experiments on the healthy population group (see: Wolf et al., 2018; Wolf et al., 2019). Such comparison will help to characterize the experience of pleasure/disgust and the phenomenology of anhedonia in patients with schizophrenia. Finally, we will address our findings to open access journals in experimental psychology (ex. Frontiers in Psychology, Frontiers in Neuroscience).
Research Products (1 results)