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Neuropsychology. 2005 Sep;19(5):649-56.

Visual-perceptual dysfunctions are possible endophenotypes of schizophrenia: evidence from the psychophysical investigation of magnocellular and parvocellular pathways.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of Szeged, Szeged, and Bács-Kiskun County Hospital, Kecskemét, Hungary.


Visual information processing is impaired in schizophrenia patients and their biological relatives. The authors measured vernier thresholds in 72 schizophrenia patients, their 86 siblings, and 60 healthy control subjects. Subjects were asked to detect the direction of the horizontal displacement of 2 stimuli (left or right). During magnocellular (M) pathway tests, stimuli were dots with low contrast (5%) or counterphase-modulated gratings (25 Hz). For parvocellular (P) pathway tests, isoluminant blue-red dots with yellow-green background were used. Results revealed that patients with schizophrenia and their siblings were more impaired in M pathway conditions than in P pathway conditions. There was no color-specific impairment. The patients and their siblings displayed lower performances on tests of executive functions, psychomotor speed, and verbal memory compared with the controls. Visual-perceptual and neuropsychological data did not correlate. In conclusion, M pathway dysfunction is a potential endophenotype of schizophrenia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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