Visual illusions in young people reporting psychotic-like experiences

Sperandio, Irene, Chouinard, Philippe A., Paice, Emily, Griffiths-King, Daniel J. and Hodgekins, Joanne (2023) Visual illusions in young people reporting psychotic-like experiences. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 79. ISSN 0005-7916

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Background and objectives A disruption in the co-ordination of bottom-up and top-down processing is thought to underlie anomalous perceptual experiences in psychosis. Visual illusions represent a valuable methodology in exploring this disruption. Here, we examined visual illusions in a group of young people having psychotic-like experiences. We also examined the relationship between illusion susceptibility and appraisal of psychotic-like experiences as well as depression, anxiety and stress levels. Method 25 young people reporting psychotic-like experiences and 53 healthy participants performed an adjustment task that measured susceptibility to a battery of 13 visual illusions. Levels of depression, anxiety and stress were quantified in both groups. The clinical group also completed measures examining frequency, appraisals and emotional responses to psychotic-like experiences. Results A general increase of illusion susceptibility was found in the clinical group compared to the control group. However, when depression, anxiety and stress levels were controlled for, this difference disappeared. Stress turned out to be the best predictor of illusion susceptibility in the clinical group, whereas anomalous experiences, depression and anxiety were unrelated to overall illusion strength. Limitations This study is limited to young participants reporting significant mental health difficulties and psychotic-like experiences. Findings should be replicated in an Ultra High Risk (prodromal) group. Conclusions Increased levels of stress explained the enhanced vulnerability to illusions in the clinical group. This increased susceptibility suggests a perceptual style that relies too heavily on prior expectations at the expense of the true sensory evidence, potentially leading to an altered perceptual experience of the world.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding Information: The authors wish to thank the team leaders, psychiatrists and clinical psychologists of the Youth Mental Health Teams who supported the recruitment. Publisher Copyright: © 2023 Elsevier Ltd
Uncontrolled Keywords: sdg 3 - good health and well-being ,/dk/atira/pure/sustainabledevelopmentgoals/good_health_and_well_being
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 07 Feb 2023 17:30
Last Modified: 21 Feb 2023 18:30
DOI: 10.1016/j.jbtep.2023.101839

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