Weakened center-surround interactions in visual motion processing in schizophrenia.

Tadin D, Kim J, Doop ML, Gibson C, Lappin JS, Blake R, Park S
J Neurosci. 2006 26 (44): 11403-12

PMID: 17079669 · PMCID: PMC6674537 · DOI:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2592-06.2006

Schizophrenia is often accompanied by a range of visual perception deficits, with many involving impairments in motion perception. The presence of perceptual abnormalities may impair neural processes that depend on normal visual analysis, which in turn may affect overall functioning in dynamic visual environments. Here, we examine the integrity of suppressive center-surround mechanisms in motion perception of schizophrenic patients. Center-surround suppression has been implicated in a range of visual functions, including figure-ground segregation and pursuit eye movements, visual functions that are impaired in schizophrenia. In control subjects, evidence of center-surround suppression is found in a reduced ability to perceive motion of a high-contrast stimulus as its size increases. This counterintuitive finding is likely a perceptual correlate of center-surround mechanisms in cortical area MT. We now show that schizophrenic patients exhibit abnormally weak center-surround suppression in motion, an abnormality that is most pronounced in patients with severe negative symptoms. Interestingly, patients with the weakest surround suppression outperformed control subjects in motion discriminations of large high-contrast stimuli. This enhanced motion perception of large high-contrast stimuli is consistent with an MT abnormality in schizophrenia and has a potential to disrupt smooth pursuit eye movements and other visual functions that depend on unimpaired center-surround interactions in motion.

MeSH Terms (9)

Adult Discrimination Learning Female Humans Male Motion Perception Photic Stimulation Psychomotor Performance Schizophrenia

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