Individual differences in cognitive processes: Towards an explanation of schizophrenic symptomatology

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Tony Beech
  • Denis McManus
  • Gordon Baylis
  • Steven Tipper
  • Kirsten Agar

Colleges, School and Institutes


A study is reported that examined the relationship between a measure of schizophrenic-like characteristics (schizotypy) in normal subjects and cognitive inhibition. Both repetitive and semantic measures of priming were used. It was found that low schizotypes showed negative priming (i.e. longer reaction times to the re-presentation of initially ignored stimuli) while high schizotypes did not; high schizotypes exhibited semantic facilitation (i.e. shorter reaction times to previously ignored stimuli) but low schizotypes did not. A model is suggested, including both inhibitory and facilitatory processes, which can account for these findings. Theorizing about these processes is of interest as it may shed some light on the mechanisms involved in the specifically cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)417-426
JournalBritish Journal of Psychology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1991