The peripersonal space is described as that area within the boundary between self and non-self. An accurate judgment of peripersonal space boundaries may depend on the capacity to create an organized and structured mental representation that integrates signals from different sensory modalities and brain regions. Empirical evidence suggests that these functions are altered in schizotypy, which is thought to reflect the subclinical expression of the symptoms of schizophrenia in the general population. A number of clinical studies reported that interpersonal interaction and social stimulation have an impact on the onset and progress of schizophrenia.
We conducted a study on personal space in a sample of student screened for schizotypal traits using a paradigm that was not affected by emotional and social interference.
The aim was to evaluate the relationship between personal space and schizotypy traits.
Thirty-four subject recruited for the study completed the Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire (SPQ). According to the SPQ results participants were splitted into two groups (High, Low). Each participant performed a PeriPersonal Space (PPS) task.
Our results show a more extended boundary of the peripersonal space in people with high schizotypy compared to people with low schizotypy even without emotional and social interference.
People with high traits of schizotypy suffer from a difficulty in social integration because of being unable to adapt the social behavior. A better understanding of the mechanisms for abnormal interactive behavior could provide significant valid guidelines for innovating insertion programs that aims to improve social functioning.
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.