Conference paper

What crowding tells about schizophrenia

Visual paradigms are versatile tools to investigate the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. Contextual modulation refers to a class of paradigms where a target is flanked by neighboring elements, which either deteriorate or facilitate target perception. It is often proposed that contextual modulation is weakened in schizophrenia, i.e., facilitating contexts are less facilitating and deteriorating contexts are less deteriorating compared to controls. However, results are mixed. In addition, facilitating and deteriorating effects are usually determined in different paradigms, making comparisons difficult. Here, we used a recently established crowding paradigm in which both facilitation and deterioration effects can be determined all together. We found a main effect of group, i.e., patients performed worse in all conditions compared to controls. However, when we discounted for this main effect, facilitation and deterioration were well comparable to controls. Our results indicate that contextual modulation can be intact in schizophrenia patients.


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