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Phasic Electrodermal Activity in Schizophrenia: Skin Conductance Response in Unmedicated Schizophrenic Patients in Comparison to Normal Controls Open Access


Other title
Skin conductance response
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Al-Ghamdi,Mohammad S
Supervisor and department
Dursun,Serdar (Psychiatry)
Examining committee member and department
Dursun,Serdar (Psychiatry)
Giuliani,Fabrizio (Neurology)
Baker,Glen (Psychiatry)
Department of Psychiatry

Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
Stimulus-elicited (phasic) skin conductance responses (SCRs) to indifferent stimuli have often been employed to examine abnormalities in orienting (allocation of attention) in studies of schizophrenia. Most previous studies have examined phasic activity only during habituation paradigms. Interpretation of many studies is complicated because patients are medicated during testing. In this study cross-modal orienting response dishabituation paradigm was presented to 68 normal controls and 47 unmedicated schizophrenia patients while SCRs were recorded. Gender and laterality (bilateral recording in right-handed participants) were varied between- and within-subjects, respectively. Overall reactivity, and the following four discrete attentional effects were examined: habituation; reinstatement; “super reinstatement”; and dishabituation. For all participants, overall reactivity was lower for schizophrenics than for normal controls, as indexed by both amplitude- and response frequency-based measures. For SCR responders only, overall responsivity did not differ between groups. For SCR responders, habituation, reinstatement, and dishabituation were evident across groups. Super reinstatement approached significance.
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