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Abstract

In visual backward masking (VBM), a target is followed by a mask that decreases target discriminability. Schizophrenia patients (SZ) show strong and reproducible masking impairments, which are associated with reduced EEG amplitudes. Patients with bipolar disorder (BP) show masking deficits, too. Here, we investigated the neural EEG correlates of VBM in BP. 122 SZ, 94 unaffected controls, and 38 BP joined a standard VBM experiment. 123 SZ, 94 unaffected controls and 16 BP joined a corresponding EEG experiment, analyzed in terms of global field power. As in previous studies, SZ and BP show strong masking deficits. Importantly and similarly to SZ, BP show decreased global field power amplitudes at approximately 200 ms after the target onset, compared to controls. These results suggest that VBM deficits are not specific for schizophrenia but for a broader range of functional psychoses. Potentially, both SZ and BP show deficient target enhancement.

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