Visual-spatial working memory performance and temporal gray matter volume predict schizotypal personality disorder group membership

Erin A. Hazlett, Raina V. Lamade, Fiona S. Graff, Margaret M. McClure, Jeanine C. Kolaitis, Kim E. Goldstein, Larry J. Siever, James H. Godbold, Erin Moshier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Background: Prior work shows individuals with schizotypal personality disorder (SPD) evince temporal lobe volume abnormalities similar to schizophrenia but sparing of prefrontal cortex, which may mitigate psychosis and the severe neurocognitive impairments observed in schizophrenia. This study examined the extent to which frontal-temporal gray matter volume and neurocognitive performance predict: (1) SPD group membership in a demographically-balanced sample of 51 patients and 37 healthy controls; and (2) symptom severity in SPD. Methods: Dimensional gray-matter volume (left frontal-temporal regions (Brodmann area (BA) 10, 21, 22)) and neurocognitive performance on key memory tasks (California Verbal Learning Test (CVLT), Dot Test, Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test (PASAT)), all salient to schizophrenia-spectrum disorders were examined in a multi-variable model. Results: Middle temporal gyrus (BA21) volume and spatial-working memory (Dot Test) performance were significant predictors of SPD group membership likelihood, with poorer working-memory performance indicating increased probability of SPD membership. Combining across regional volumes or cognitive measures resulted in fair-to-good discrimination of group membership, but including neurocognitive and non-collinear regional volume measures together resulted in a receiver-operating-characteristic (ROC) curve with improved diagnostic discrimination. Larger BA10 volume in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) significantly predicted less symptom severity in SPD. Conclusions: These findings suggest that temporal lobe volume and spatial-working memory performance are promising biological/phenotype markers for likelihood of SPD classification, while greater DLPFC volume may serve as a protective factor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)350-357
Number of pages8
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Feb 2014


  • CVLT
  • Diagnostic classification
  • Dot Test
  • Neurocognition
  • Prefrontal cortex
  • Schizotypal
  • Temporal lobe volume
  • Working memory


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