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Schizophr Res. 2000 May 25;43(1):11-20.

Perceptual organization, the disorganization syndrome, and context processing in chronic schizophrenia.

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  • 1University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY 14620, USA.


Schizophrenia patients' perceptual organization abilities were assessed with a psychophysically well-controlled measure of contour integration. Compared with psychiatric and staff controls, schizophrenia patients were less able to detect contours comprising Gabor elements as the detection of these contours relied increasingly on long-range spatial interactions. Impaired task performance was also found to correlate significantly with higher levels of disorganized symptomatology. These data provide further evidence for impaired perceptual grouping in schizophrenia. In addition, the findings support the hypothesis that a common cortical processing algorithm involving contextual coordination is impaired in schizophrenia, leading to reduced binding of object features in vision, and reduced contextual disambiguation of linguistic information during thought and speech.

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