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The time course of visual backward masking deficits in schizophrenia

Skottun, Bernt C. and Skoyles, John R. (2011) The time course of visual backward masking deficits in schizophrenia. Journal of Integrative Neuroscience, 10 (1). pp. 33-45. ISSN 0219-6352

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Identification Number: 10.1142/S0219635211002609


Schizophrenia, it has been hypothesized, is linked to a deficiency in the magnocellular portion of the visual system. Abnormal backward masking has been invoked as support for this hypothesis. The rationale for linking backward masking to the magnocellular system is the hypothesis that fast responses in the magnocellular systems catches up with, and then inhibits slower responses in the parvocellular system. However, the latency difference between the magno- and parvocellular systems is at most 20 ms. Magnocellular abnormalities as a result would be expected to manifest themselves only at relatively short stimulus onset asynchronies (SOAs) or interstimulus intervals (ISIs). The present study examines this implication. It is found that a substantial number of investigations have uncovered abnormal masking at SOAs or ISIs of 300 ms or larger, and some even at ISIs as large as 700 ms. It is difficult to reconcile abnormalities at these SOAs and ISIs with magno-parvocellular latency differences of 20 ms or less. It is concluded that the abnormal masking does not support the existence of a magnocellular deficiency in schizophrenia.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2011 Imperial College Press.
Divisions: CPNSS
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Sets: Research centres and groups > Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science (CPNSS)
Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2011 13:00
Last Modified: 20 Jan 2020 04:20

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