Odor identification, eye tracking and deficit syndrome schizophrenia

Dolores Malaspina, Eliza Coleman, Raymond R. Goetz, Jill Harkavy-Friedman, Cheryl Corcoran, Xavier Amador, Scott Yale, Jack M. Gorman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


Background: Deficit syndrome (DS) schizophrenia patients have smooth pursuit eye movement (SPEM) dysfunction. We examined if they also had smell identification deficits, since social affiliation is related to olfaction in other mammals. Methods: Sixty-seven patients had DS assessments: 31 patients had SPEM and 50 had Smell Identification Test (SIT) assessments, and 14 patients had both measurements. Results: DS patients had worse SPEM and SIT performance than the non-DS patients. Areas under the receiver-operator characteristic (ROC) curves for SIT and SPEM were both fairly accurate in identifying the DS. The odds ratio (OR) for the DS for impaired versus normal SPEM was 6.21 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.21, 32.25) and for microsmia versus normosmia was 10.4 (95% CI: 1.23, 88.18). Further analyses showed that the association of SIT with both SPEM and the DS could account for the SPEM-DS association. Conclusions: We found a strong association between the DS and SIT scores suggesting that the neural substrates of olfaction may be related to social affiliation in humans, as they are in other mammals. These data further support the notion that the DS defines a homogeneous subgroup of schizophrenia patients and further suggest that dysfunction in the neural circuitry of olfaction may contribute to its pathophysiology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)809-815
Number of pages7
JournalBiological Psychiatry
Issue number10
StatePublished - 15 May 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Deficit syndrome
  • Eye tracking
  • Negative symptoms
  • Odor identification
  • Schizophrenia
  • Social function


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