Perceptual organisation of configurai and nonconfigural visual patterns in schizophrenia: Effects of repeated exposure

Steven M. Silverstein, Shabnam Bakshi, Robert M. Chapman, Geoffrey Nowlis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations

Abstract

Recent evidence suggests that although schizophrenia patients can process aspects of visual form to which the visual system is "hard-wired" to respond, they are deficient in consolidating novel, unstructured visual information into memory traces, thus limiting the assessment of meaning and the generation of top-down influences to guide further processing. This hypothesis was tested with 18 chronic schizophrenia patients and 18 controls using a familiarity judgement task. As predicted, schizophrenia patients' ability to recognise a highly structured visual pattern increased as a function of experience. In contrast, recognition performance for an unstructured pattern did not improve even after 120 exposures. These data suggest that schizophrenia is characterised by a reduced ability to initiate experience-based changes in the visual system, wherein a group of noncontiguous elements that recur together and that are behaviourally relevant begins to be processed as a single unit. These data, and significant correlations between abnormal task performance and disorganised symptoms are consistent with recent neurophysiological models of schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)209-223
Number of pages15
JournalCognitive Neuropsychiatry
Volume3
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1998
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Cognitive Neuroscience

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