Scientific article

Strange-face-in-the-mirror illusion and schizotypy during adolescence

Published inSchizophrenia bulletin, vol. 41 Suppl 2, p. S475-482
Publication date2015

Patients with schizophrenia can sometimes report strange face illusions when staring at themselves in the mirror; such experiences have been conceptualized as anomalous self-experiences that can be experienced with a varying degree of depersonalization. During adolescence, anomalous self-experiences can also be indicative of increased risk to develop schizophrenia-spectrum disorders. To date however, the Mirror-Gazing test (MGT), an experimentally validated experiment to evaluate the propensity of strange face illusions in nonclinical and clinical adults, has yet to be investigated in an adolescent sample. The first goal of the present study was to examine experimentally induced self-face illusions in a nonclinical sample of adolescents, using the MGT. The second goal was to investigate whether dimensions of adolescent trait schizotypy were differentially related to phenomena arising during the MGT. One hundred and ten community adolescents (59 male) aged from 12 to 19 years (mean age = 16.31, SD age = 1.77) completed the MGT and Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire. The results yielded 4 types of strange face illusions; 2 types of illusions (slight change of light/color [20%] and own face deformation [45.5%]) lacked depersonalization-like phenomena (no identity change), while 2 other types (vision of other identity [27.3%], and vision of non-human identity [7.3%]) contained clear depersonalization-like phenomena. Furthermore, the disorganization dimension of schizotypy associated negatively with time of first illusion (first press), and positively with frequency of illusions during the MGT. Statistically significant differences on positive and disorganized schizotypy were found when comparing groups on the basis of degree of depersonalization-like phenomena (from slight color changes to non-human visions). Similarly to experimentally induced self-face illusions in patients with schizophrenia, such illusions in a group of nonclinical adolescents present significant associations to schizotypy dimensions.

Citation (ISO format)
FONSECA-PEDRERO, Eduardo et al. Strange-face-in-the-mirror illusion and schizotypy during adolescence. In: Schizophrenia bulletin, 2015, vol. 41 Suppl 2, p. S475–482. doi: 10.1093/schbul/sbu196
Main files (1)
Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal0586-7614

Technical informations

Creation11/06/2015 2:15:00 PM
First validation11/06/2015 2:15:00 PM
Update time03/14/2023 11:49:13 PM
Status update03/14/2023 11:49:13 PM
Last indexation10/19/2023 12:07:47 AM
All rights reserved by Archive ouverte UNIGE and the University of GenevaunigeBlack