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The Rubber Hand Illusion (RHI) has previously been used to depict the hierarchy between visual, tactile and perceptual stimuli. Studies on schizophrenia inpatients (SZs) have found mixed results in the ability to first learn the illusion, and have yet to explain the learning process involved. This study's aim was two-fold: to examine the learning process of the RHI in SZs and healthy controls over time, and to better understand the relationship between psychotic symptoms and the RHI.
Thirty schizophrenia inpatients and 30 healthy controls underwent five different trials of the RHI over a two-week period.
As has been found in previous studies, SZs felt the initial illusion faster than healthy controls did, but their learning process throughout the trials was inconsistent. Furthermore, for SZs, no correlations between psychotic symptoms and the learning of the illusion emerged.
Healthy individuals show a delayed reaction to first feeling the illusion (due to latent inhibition), but easily learn the illusion over time. For SZs, both strength of the illusion and the ability to learn the illusion over time are inconsistent. The cognitive impairment in SZ impedes the learning process of the RHI, and SZs are unable to utilize the repetition of the process as healthy individuals can.
There is increasing demand for psychiatric expert testimony in criminal proceedings. A person is responsible for his actions unless he is subject to the penal code, Section 34 h, insanity. Mental illness is not sufficient to determine insanity; it must be proven that the patient did not understand what he had done, did not comprehend the inappropriateness of his actions: or could not have avoided performing the deed. Opponents argue that the expert testimony is not scientific and not professional and alternatively that the mentally ill avoid responsibility even when there is no connection between the illness and the offense.
The polygraph examination is an important instrument for confirming credibility of the testimony but it has not yet been investigated in the field of forensic psychiatry.
To examine the validity of a polygraph examination in psychotic patients. To compare polygraph tests with psychiatric examinations.
Patients were tested with a polygraph examination on there misjudged psychotic behavior.
24 patients signed a consent form, but not all eventually participated. all patients received antipsychotic medications. in general valid polygraph examination can be performed to patients with the psychotic illnesses (i.e. schizophrenia). Agitated or cognitive deprived patients tests were not reliable. the psychiatric examinations or the expert testimonies were in accord with the polygraph examination.
Preliminary data indicate that polygraph examinations are valid in patients with the psychotic illnesses. But not in agitated or cognitive deprived patients. Expert testimonies were found reliable in determining insanity.
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