Vernier threshold in patients with schizophrenia and in their unaffected siblings

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The aim of this study was to investigate magnocellular (M) and parvocellular (P) visual functions in nonmedicated patients with schizophrenia and in their unaffected siblings. Possible abnormalities in cortical integration of retinal receptive fields also were addressed. Twenty-two nonmedicated patients with schizophrenia, their unaffected siblings, and 20 age- and IQ-matched healthy control subjects received 4 vernier acuity tasks (blue-on-yellow, frequency-doubling, achromatic low and high contrast conditions) in which they were asked to detect the spatial alignment of dots and gratings. Results revealed that the patients with schizophrenia and their unaffected siblings showed selective dysfunctions in the frequency-doubling and achromatic low contrast conditions, which were devoted to investigate M pathways. In the isoluminant blue-on-yellow and high contrast achromatic conditions, there were no significant differences between the experimental groups. These results suggest that the deficit of M pathway is an endophenotype of schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)537-542
Number of pages6
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2004


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology

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