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Peripersonal space has been defined as the area immediately surrounding the body in which interactions with a person or an object can occur. Larger peripersonal space may reflect discomfort in close interpersonal situation or cognitive deficit. Individuals with schizophrenia are more sensitive to social stimulation. The capacity to provide accurate judgments of peripersonal space boundaries depend on the capacity to create an organized and structured mental representation that integrates signals from different sensory modalities and brain regions.
We conducted a study on personal space in patients with schizophrenia using a paradigm that was not affected by emotional and social interference.
We aimed to investigate the characteristics of personal space in patients with schizophrenia.
We recruited 20 schizophrenic patients according to DSM-V criterion and 20 healthy volunteers, matched by gender and age. Schizophrenic symptoms were assessed using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS). Participants performed the peripersonal space (PPS) task. Collected data underwent statistical analyses.
Schizophrenic patients demonstrate a stronger/weaker need for personal space, than the comparison group, depending on the score of negative and positive symptom, as assessed by using the PANSS even without emotional and social interference.
Interpersonal interactions between the individual with schizophrenia and people in their immediate environment can lead to increased symptomatology. Social isolation is one of the most primary causes of poor quality of life in mental illnesses. Better understanding of the mechanisms for abnormal interactive behavior could provide significant valid guidelines for innovating intervention programs.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
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