Patients with functional psychoses show similar visual backward masking deficits
Recent genetic, behavioral, and clinical studies suggest that functional psychoses (schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, schizoaffective disorder), previously thought to be distinct from each other, may belong to one continuum. The shine-through masking paradigm is a potential endophenotype of schizophrenia with high sensitivity and specificity for discriminating between patients, their clinically unaffected relatives, and healthy controls. Hence, if schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and schizoaffective disorder belong to one common disease, strong masking deficits are expected to occur in all three diseases whereas no masking deficits are expected for abstinent alcoholic or depressive patients. Indeed, we found masking to be much stronger in psychotic patients compared to controls and to depressive patients and abstinent alcoholics, who performed on similar levels. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.