Psychophysiology and Genetics: A Key to Psychopathology Research

William George Iacono

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


By combining psychophysiologic and genetic research strategies in the investigation of psychiatric disorders; it is possible to identify psychophysiological measures that may serve as genetic markers of psychopathology. A set of research criteria that can be used to identify and validate a genetic marker is presented. Focusing on the author's research, these criteria were applied to evaluate deviant smooth‐pursuit eye tracking as a potential marker of schizophrenia. The results from studies of both normal subjects and psychiatric patients make a strong case that abnormalities in the eye‐tracking performance of schizophrenic patients have potential as a marker of this disorder. Other research findings pertinent to eye‐tracking performance are discussed along with some ethical concerns arising from this type of psychophysiologic‐genetic research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)371-383
Number of pages13
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1983
Externally publishedYes


  • Electro‐oculography
  • Genetic marker
  • Saccadic eye movements
  • Schizophrenia
  • Smooth‐pursuit eye tracking


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