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Combining two model systems of psychosis: The effects of schizotypy and sleep deprivation on oculomotor control and psychotomimetic states

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Published online on


Model systems of psychosis, such as schizotypy or sleep deprivation, are valuable in informing our understanding of the etiology of the disorder and aiding the development of new treatments. Schizophrenia patients, high schizotypes, and sleep‐deprived subjects are known to share deficits in oculomotor biomarkers. Here, we aimed to further validate the schizotypy and sleep deprivation models and investigated, for the first time, their interactive effects on smooth pursuit eye movements (SPEM), prosaccades, antisaccades, predictive saccades, and measures of psychotomimetic states, anxiety, depression, and stress. To do so, n = 19 controls and n = 17 high positive schizotypes were examined after both a normal sleep night and 24 h of sleep deprivation. Schizotypes displayed higher SPEM global position error, catch‐up saccade amplitude, and increased psychotomimetic states. Sleep deprivation impaired SPEM, prosaccade, antisaccade, and predictive saccade performance and increased levels of psychotomimetic experiences. Additionally, sleep deprivation reduced SPEM gain in schizotypes but not controls. We conclude that oculomotor impairments are observed in relation to schizotypy and following sleep deprivation, supporting their utility as biomarkers in model systems of psychosis. The combination of these models with oculomotor biomarkers may be particularly fruitful in assisting the development of new antipsychotic or pro‐cognitive drugs.