Behavioral Apophenia and Dimensions of Psychoticism in Adolescents with and without Mood Disorders

Michael Reinke, Julia M. Longenecker, Lamisa Chowdhury, Michelle Thai, Erin Begnel, Nathan Horek, Cheryl Olman, Kathryn R. Cullen, Bonnie Klimes-Dougan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Apophenia is the tendency to falsely detect meaningful relationships and may indicate susceptibility to more extreme expressions on the psychotic spectrum. This pilot investigated the fragmented ambiguous object task (FAOT), a new measure designed to assess apophenia behaviorally in a sample of adolescents with and without mood disorders using an image recognition task. Our primary hypothesis was that increased image recognition would be associated with PID-5 psychoticism. Participants were 33 (79% female) adolescents with (n = 18) and without (n = 15) mood disorders. Consistent with predictions, increased recognition of ambiguous images correlated positively with psychoticism. There was also moderate evidence for long-term stability of FAOT apophenia scores over time (mean interval of approximately 10 months). These findings offer preliminary evidence that the FAOT may be reflective of underlying psychoticism in our target population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)473-477
Number of pages5
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 S. Karger AG, Basel. Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.


  • Fragmented ambiguous object task
  • PID-5
  • Youth

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


Dive into the research topics of 'Behavioral Apophenia and Dimensions of Psychoticism in Adolescents with and without Mood Disorders'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this