Slow habituation of arousal associated with psychosis proneness

Paul Allen, Daniel Freeman, Philip McGuire

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background. Previous studies report skin conductance (SC) abnormalities in both patients with schizophrenia and psychosis-prone individuals. However, no studies have assessed SC abnormalities in relation to specific psychotic and emotional symptoms. The aim of the present study was to examine the relationship between SC orienting response and hallucination proneness, delusional ideation, anxiety and self-focused attention in non-clinical individuals.Method. Forty-three participants were recruited and divided into two groups depending upon the SC habituation profile. Normal habituators (n = 28) and slow habituators (n = 15) were compared on measures of psychosis proneness, anxiety and self-focused attention.Results. Slow habituators had significantly higher levels of delusional ideation and hallucination proneness than the normal habituators. SC habituation scores were particularly associated with the conviction of delusional ideas. Levels of anxiety or self-focused attention did not differ significantly between the groups.Conclusions. The study provides evidence of 'aetiological continuity'. Common mechanisms may contribute to psychotic experiences in non-clinical and clinical samples, consistent with the notion of a psychosis continuum.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)577-582
JournalPsychological Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Cite this