Spatial frequency discrimination in schizophrenia

O’Donnell BF, Potts GF, Nestor PG, Stylianopoulos KC, Shenton ME, McCarley RW

J Abnorm Psychol 2002 Nov;111(4):620-5

PMID: 12428775


Pathways within the visual system can be distinguished on the basis of selectivity for low or high spatial frequencies. Spatial frequency discrimination was evaluated in 17 medicated male patients with schizophrenia and 19 male control subjects. Subjects were required to discriminate whether pairs of high contrast, sinusoidally modulated gratings were the same or different in spatial frequency. Accuracy performance was compared at high, medium, and low spatial frequencies on tasks matched for control performance. Patients showed a greater performance decrement of 12% on low as compared with 4% on high spatial frequencies. These findings suggest a disturbance of right hemisphere mechanisms involved in spatial perception and attention in schizophrenia.