Dermatoglyphic asymmetries and fronto-striatal dysfunction in young adults reporting non-clinical psychosis

V. A. Mittal*, D. J. Dean, A. Pelletier

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Objective: Growing evidence indicates that non-clinical psychotic-like experiences occur in otherwise healthy individuals, suggesting that psychosis may occur on a continuum. However, little is known about how the diathesis for formal psychosis maps on to individuals at the non-clinical side of this continuum. Our current understanding of the pathophysiology of schizophrenia implicates certain key factors such as early developmental abnormalities and fronto-striatal dysfunction. To date, no studies have examined these core factors in the context of non-clinical psychosis. Method: A total of 221 young adults were assessed for distressing attenuated positive symptoms (DAPS), dermatoglyphic asymmetries (a marker of early developmental insult), and procedural memory (a proxy for fronto-striatal function). Results: Participants reporting DAPS (n=16; 7.2%) and no-DAPS (n=205; 92.7%) were split into two groups. The DAPS group showed significantly elevated depression, elevated dermatoglyphic asymmetries, and a pattern of procedural learning consistent with other studies with formally psychotic patients. Conclusion: The results indicate that the non-clinical side of the psychosis continuum also shares key vulnerability factors implicated in schizophrenia, suggesting that both early developmental disruption and abnormalities in fronto-striatal function are core aspects underlying the disorder.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)290-297
Number of pages8
JournalActa Psychiatrica Scandinavica
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2012


  • Dermatoglyphic asymmetries
  • Fronto-striatal dysfunction
  • Non-clinical psychosis
  • Prenatal
  • Procedural learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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