The (b)link between amotivation and psychosis: Insights through phasic eye blink rate

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Motivation deficits within Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders (SSDs) are associated with abnormal striatal dopamine responses during reward processing. Eye blink rate (EBR) has been used as a proxy for striatal dopamine; however, it is unclear whether EBR is sensitive to individual differences in amotivation. Amotivation (clinician-rated and self-reported) and EBR during an effort-based reward task were assessed in 28 outpatients with SSDs. EBR was lower during more "active" task phases relative to rest periods. Higher EBR during reward anticipation was associated with lower self-reported, but not clinician-rated, motivation. These preliminary results support a task-engagement, rather than striatal dopamine, account of EBR.

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Psychiatry research

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