Attentional modulation of perceptual organisation in schizophrenia

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Introduction. Previous studies indicated impaired perceptual organisation in schizophrenia. This study investigated lateral connection and attentional modulation in early visual cortex of schizophrenia patients. Methods. Contrast threshold was measured for a central Gabor patch, flanked with orthogonal and collinear Gabor patches. In the attended condition, participants performed a concurrent vernier task by determining the spatial offset of the flankers. Results. The controls (n=25) had lower contrast thresholds in the collinear condition than in the orthogonal condition, whereas the schizophrenia patients (n=43) did not benefit from the presence of collinear flankers. This deficit was not ameliorated by attentional modulation. Antipsychotic medication did not affect the performance. Conclusions. These results suggest that lateral connections are impaired in early visual cortex of schizophrenia patients. This deficit cannot be restored by top-down attentional modulation of target-flanker interactions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-86
Number of pages10
JournalCognitive Neuropsychiatry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2009


  • Attention
  • Contrast threshold
  • Perceptual organisation
  • Schizophrenia
  • Vision

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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