Event Title

Correlation Does Not Equal Causation: The Misinterpretation of Saccadic Abnormalities for Intoxication from Alcohol

Location

CSU 254

Start Date

20-4-2015 2:10 PM

End Date

20-4-2015 3:10 PM

Student's Major

Psychology

Student's College

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Mentor's Name

Dawn Albertson

Mentor's Email Address

dawn.albertson@mnsu.edu

Mentor's Department

Psychology

Mentor's College

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Description

An abnormal rapid jerking of the eye, known as a saccade, can be present in people for many reasons. Saccades can be present when there is an inhibition in the functioning of the cerebellum and frontal lobe, and is most commonly associated with being under the influence of alcohol. However, saccades are also seen in people with Tourette’s syndrome, Autism spectrum disorder, Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, Post-traumatic-stress-disorder, Schizophrenia, and in persons with severe whiplash. Even more striking, saccades can be present in the family members of an individual with schizophrenia despite not having any mental illness. While, saccades can be used as a diagnostic tool for physicians and psychiatrists, they are frequently seen in law enforcement. Officers use the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test (HGN) to look for saccades when they suspect a driver is under the influence, the presence of which implies impairment due to alcohol. As it currently stands, individuals with underlying physical or mental health disorders, in addition to those completely unaffected, can be unjustly ensnared into the legal system potentially violating their rights. It is argued that this test, that is currently accepted as fact by courts, be halted until better awareness of the impact of psychological disorders and physical injuries can be evaluated.

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Apr 20th, 2:10 PM Apr 20th, 3:10 PM

Correlation Does Not Equal Causation: The Misinterpretation of Saccadic Abnormalities for Intoxication from Alcohol

CSU 254

An abnormal rapid jerking of the eye, known as a saccade, can be present in people for many reasons. Saccades can be present when there is an inhibition in the functioning of the cerebellum and frontal lobe, and is most commonly associated with being under the influence of alcohol. However, saccades are also seen in people with Tourette’s syndrome, Autism spectrum disorder, Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, Post-traumatic-stress-disorder, Schizophrenia, and in persons with severe whiplash. Even more striking, saccades can be present in the family members of an individual with schizophrenia despite not having any mental illness. While, saccades can be used as a diagnostic tool for physicians and psychiatrists, they are frequently seen in law enforcement. Officers use the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test (HGN) to look for saccades when they suspect a driver is under the influence, the presence of which implies impairment due to alcohol. As it currently stands, individuals with underlying physical or mental health disorders, in addition to those completely unaffected, can be unjustly ensnared into the legal system potentially violating their rights. It is argued that this test, that is currently accepted as fact by courts, be halted until better awareness of the impact of psychological disorders and physical injuries can be evaluated.

Recommended Citation

Endersbe, Ryan. "Correlation Does Not Equal Causation: The Misinterpretation of Saccadic Abnormalities for Intoxication from Alcohol." Undergraduate Research Symposium, Mankato, MN, April 20, 2015.
http://cornerstone.lib.mnsu.edu/urs/2015/oral_session_11/1