Pharmacopsychiatry 2003; 36 - 107
DOI: 10.1055/s-2003-825358

Multiple T-mazes in the analysis of visuo-motor interactions in schizophrenia

M Hanisch 1, S Lis 1, T Cetin 1, B Gallhofer 1, S Krieger 1
  • 1Zentrum für Psychiatrie, Justus Liebig Universität, Giessen

Maze tasks enable the analysis of perception-action-interactions close to reality. However, because each maze represents one item only the advantage of high validity is counterbalanced by low reliability. Use of parallel-forms is hampered by the hardly understood dependency of cognitive processes on details of the maze task. In the present study parallel maze stimuli decomposable into items were constructed. It was analysed whether these enable a separation of cognitive sub-processes involved in perception, decision-making and action and whether an identification of selective impairments is possible in schizophrenic patients.

24 schizophrenics and healthy controls were analysed with mazes formed by sequences of T-elements. The number of T-elements visible and the necessity of decision-making were varied.

First results depict that mazes can be decomposed into items and that the impairments of schizophrenic patients are highly dependent on the necessity of decision making.

T-Mazes seem to be an approach well suited for the experimentation with mazes and thus the identification of cognitive domains selectively disturbed in psychiatric disorders.