Schizotypal traits and neurocognitive functioning among nonclinical young adults

Maureen P. Daly, Sonia Afroz, Deborah J. Walder*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Neurocognitive deficits and their relationship with symptoms have been documented in schizophrenia and at-risk samples. Limited research has examined relationships of schizotypal traits with cognitive functioning among nonclinical samples. To expand this literature and elucidate a dimensional model of psychosis-proneness, we examined the relationship of schizotypal traits with estimated intellectual functioning, simple and complex attention/working memory, verbal fluency and visuospatial abilities in a nonclinical sample of 63 young adults. As hypothesized, aspects of neurocognition were more closely associated with negative (than positive or disorganized) schizotypal traits. For the total sample, poorer visuospatial performance was associated with more negative and overall schizotypal traits. The magnitude of the majority of findings was strengthened after controlling for depression and anxiety. No other findings were significant. Results partially support Meehl's (1962, 1990) view that processes underlying schizophrenia are expressed along a continuum. Findings suggest a relationship of schizotypal traits with neurocognition that is differentiated by trait dimensions, beyond the contribution of general psychiatric symptoms. Findings have implications for better understanding etiology and potential risk factors for psychosis. While sex distribution did not enable direct examination of sex effects, evidence in the field argues for continued exploration of differential patterns by sex.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)635-640
Number of pages6
JournalPsychiatry Research
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Dec 30 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Anxiety
  • Cognitive
  • Depression
  • Dimensional
  • Schizotypal
  • Sex difference

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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