© 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license. Background Schizotypal personality disorder (SPD) is a schizophrenia-spectrum disorder characterized by odd or bizarre behavior, strange speech, magical thinking, unusual perceptual experiences, and social anhedonia. Schizophrenia proper has been associated with anomalies in dopaminergic neurotransmission and deficits in neurophysiological markers of self-monitoring, such as low amplitude in cognitive event-related brain potentials (ERPs) like the error-related negativity (ERN), and the error positivity (Pe). These components occur after performance errors, rely on adequate fronto-striatal function, and are sensitive to dopaminergic modulation. Here we postulated that analogous to observations in schizophrenia, SPD individuals would show deficits in self-monitoring, as measured by the ERN and the Pe. We also assessed the capacity of dopaminergic antagonists to reverse these postulated deficits. Methods We recorded the electroencephalogram (EEG) from 9 SPD individuals and 12 healthy controls in two separate experimental sessions while they performed the Eriksen Flanker Task, a classical task recruiting behavioral monitoring. Participants received a placebo or 1 mg risperidone according to a double-blind randomized design. Results After placebo, SPD individuals showed slower reaction times to hits, longer correction times following errors and reduced ERN and Pe amplitudes. While risperidone impaired performance and decreased ERN and Pe in the control group, it led to behavioral improvements and ERN amplitude increases in the SPD individuals. Conclusions These results indicate that SPD individuals show deficits in self-monitoring analogous to those in schizophrenia. These deficits can be evidenced by neurophysiological measures, suggest a dopaminergic imbalance, and can be reverted by dopaminergic antagonists.
- Behavioral monitoring
- Dopaminergic antagonism
- Error-related negativity
- Schizotypal personality disorder