Ambiguous handedness and visuospatial pseudoneglect in schizotypy in physical and computer-generated virtual environments
Virtual reality (VR) technology has increased clinical attention in the health care of schizophrenia spectrum disorders in both diagnosis of the suspiciousness symptom and manifestation of other schizotypal traits. However, the exact nature of VR-induced positive treatment effect in schizotypy is still unknown. Therefore, in this study, VR technology was used as a non-invasive neurocognitive trigger to test the asymmetric visuospatial representational instability found in individuals with high schizotypy. The study aimed to reveal the brain functional hemispheric laterality in physical and virtual realities in individuals with schizotypal traits. Hemispheric functional asymmetry was measured by the Line Bisection Task (LBT). The results revealed that LBT in the physical reality showed a handedness-related leftward pseudoneglect, and a rightward pseudoneglect in VR condition. VR environment elevates the visuospatial processing activity in the right hemisphere. VR stimulation enhances the representational articulation of the left hemispace in high schizotypy, but in the case of the low schizotypy associated with elevated left hemisphere activity and the representational asymmetry drifts toward the right hemispace.