BACKGROUND: Ultra-high risk (UHR) is considered a forerunner of psychosis, but most UHR individuals do not later convert, yet remain symptomatic, disabled and help-seeking. Thus, there is an increased recognition of the UHR phenotype as a syndrome in itself, rather than merely a risk syndrome. It is therefore essential to investigate outcomes other than transition to psychosis. For this purpose, perceptual aberration appears to be a distinct, as well as a stable and less state-specific vulnerability indicator. We aimed to investigate perceptual aberration and associations with functional, neuro and social cognitive risk factors in an UHR sample.
METHOD: One hundred and twenty UHR and 64 healthy controls were compared on levels of perceptual aberration using the perceptual aberration scale. We further investigated cross-sectional associations between perceptual aberration and CAARMS (as a measure of subthreshold psychotic symptoms) and functional, neuro and social cognitive risk factors within the UHR using Spearmans ρ.
RESULTS: Perceptual aberration was significantly higher in UHR than in healthy controls and was associated with social functioning, executive functioning, and emotion recognition.
CONCLUSION: Our findings are consistent with a view of perceptual aberration as a stable vulnerability indicator that varies little with clinical state.