Perceptual grouping in disorganized schizophrenia


Uhlhaas PJ, Phillips W, Mitchell G & Silverstein SM (2006) Perceptual grouping in disorganized schizophrenia. Psychiatry Research, 145 (2-3), pp. 105-117.

This study evaluated visual perceptual grouping in schizophrenia to test the hypothesis that the disorganization syndrome in schizophrenia is related to a deficit in cognitive coordination. Perceptual grouping was examined with three psychophysically well-controlled tasks in patients with disorganized schizophrenia (n = 11), non-disorganized schizophrenia (n = 24), psychotic disorders other than schizophrenia (n = 31) and non-psychotic psychiatric disorders (n = 35). These measures assessed processing of both concurrent and preceding stimulus context. Deficits in perceptual grouping were observed on all three tasks in disorganized schizophrenia patients. Dysfunctional perceptual grouping mechanisms produced both enhanced and impaired task performance suggesting that the pattern of performance observed was the result of a specific deficit in the grouping of stimulus elements. We interpret these data as further support for the hypothesis that the disorganization syndrome in schizophrenia reflects a widespread deficit in the cognitive coordination of contextually related stimuli, leading to dysfunctional grouping of stimulus features in vision, thought and language.

Vision; Perceptual grouping; Disorganization; Context; Cognitive coordination

Psychiatry Research: Volume 145, Issue 2-3

Publication date31/12/2006