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Impaired detection of visual motion in schizophrenia patients.

Author information

1
Brain and Behavior Laboratory, Medical Research Center, and Department of Psychiatry, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Kwei-shai, Tao-yuan, Taiwan. chiang-shan.li@yale.edu

Abstract

PURPOSE:

A recent report demonstrated impaired auditory detection and discrimination in schizophrenia patients. It is suggested that a deficit in attention resulted in flatter slopes of the psychometric functions. Here, we investigated whether these patients showed a similar deficit in another sensory modality. Specifically, we examined a subset of the schizophrenia patients in a visual task involving motion detection.

METHODS:

A total of 13 schizophrenia patients and 14 normal controls detected the presence of a group of random dots moving in a coherent direction among other dots moving in random directions. Signal intensity varied from trial to trial. Detection sensitivity and bias were computed using signal detection theory.

RESULTS:

The schizophrenia patients were less sensitive in detecting motion stimuli, compared to normal subjects. The decrement in sensitivity varies with signal-to-noise ratio. The two groups did not differ in response bias.

CONCLUSION:

Schizophrenics were impaired in visual, as well as in auditory, attention, in accordance with the idea that attention impairment may represent a core deficit in schizophrenia.

PMID:
12369268
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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