Subclinical high schizotypy traits are associated with slower change detection.

Research paper by Robin R Laycock, Elizabeth E Cutajar, Sheila G SG Crewther

Indexed on: 31 May '19Published on: 30 Mar '19Published in: Acta Psychologica


Patients with schizophrenia often show impairments in visual information processing that have been linked to abnormal magnocellular or dorsal stream functioning. However, such deficits are not consistently reported, possibly due to the broad symptomology inherent to schizophrenia, and/or medication effects. To avoid these latter issues this study employed visual perceptual tasks targeting magnocellular (flicker-defined form contrast threshold), dorsal stream (motion coherence, change detection) and ventral stream (form coherence) processing, and compared performance of groups of high and low sub-clinical schizotypy traits from a neurotypical population (n = 20 per group). Significantly worse performance of high compared with low schizotypy participants was only demonstrated on the change detection task that requires rapid attention acquisition and encoding of the first visual array into short term memory prior to a comparison of a second array presentation. No group differences on the other tasks were established. Given this potentially important effect is apparent in a non-clinical population, there are likely to be implications for understanding visual and attentional abnormalities in the schizophrenia spectrum more broadly. Copyright © 2019 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.