Pharmacopsychiatry 2003; 36 - 171
DOI: 10.1055/s-2003-825422

A new model for assessment of mechanisms of behavior control and impulsivity

MR Lemke 1, CJ Fischer 2, G Fritzer 3
  • 1Rheinische Kliniken, Bonn
  • 2Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Texas, Houston, USA
  • 3Klink für Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie, Universität Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Kiel

Objective: Dysfunction of behavioral control represents a central component of many psychiatric disturbances including personality disorders, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and others. A paradigm was developed to continuously assess stimulus perception and movement execution of behavior control. Methods: Following an initial stimulus, the process from perception of the stimulus to execution of the hand movement was determined by EEG, startle reflex, and kinematics (infrared detection system). Results: Subsequent to the external stimulus, we registered continuously startle reflex amplitude, and movement parameters including onset (4.68±1.56s), duration (1.48±0.59s), lmovement curve (238.17±74.08mm), max. velocity (vmax) (0.45±0.13 m/s), vmax latency (36.68±17.26s). Discussion: This is to our knowledge the first time that perceptive and executive components of CNS behavior control can be quantified and assessed in combination. Future studies will include modulation of perception and behavior and evaluation of pharmacological and psychotherapeutic interventions in psychiatric patients, with special interest on impulsivity.