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Source monitoring for actions in adolescents with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11DS)

  • M. Debbané (a1) (a2), M. Van der Linden (a1) (a2), B. Glaser (a1) (a2) and S. Eliez (a1) (a3)



Source monitoring consists in identifying the origin of mental events. Recent research suggests that confusions over internally generated mental events may represent a cognitive marker for increased proneness to psychotic symptoms and disorders. We have examined source monitoring for actions in adolescents with the 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11DS), a neurogenetic disease associated with high rates of schizophrenia during adulthood, and expected to observe source monitoring deficits in comparison to IQ-matched and typically developing controls.


Eighteen adolescents with 22q11DS, 17 adolescents matched for age and IQ, and also 17 adolescents matched for age participated in this study. Our adapted action monitoring paradigm asked subjects to visualize a series of actions in three different conditions: (1) visualize themselves performing the action; (2) visualize the experimenter performing the action; or (3) simply repeat the action statements without visualization of the action performer.


The adolescents with 22q11DS performed adequately in terms of recognition (hits), but in comparison to both control groups, they committed more source confusions on correctly recognized items. Further examination revealed that the adolescents were more likely to demonstrate confusions between exterior sources in which the self was not involved.


Source monitoring deficits can be observed in adolescents with 22q11DS, a syndrome putting them at high risk for developing schizophrenia. These deficits are discussed in terms of early cognitive processes associated with genetic risk for schizophrenia.


Corresponding author

*Address for correspondence: M. Debbané, Service Médico-Pédagogique, Department of Psychiatry, University of Geneva School of Medicine, 16–18 Boulevard St-Georges, Case Postale 50, 1211 Geneva 8, Switzerland. (Email:


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