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Perceptual Organisation in Schizophrenia: Evidence of Intact Processing of Configural Stimuli

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Abstract:

Although it has been hypothesised that schizophrenia patients have a perceptual organisation deficit, recent work indicates that their ability to process highly configural stimuli with continuous or near continuous contour is intact. To clarify further the range of the perceptual organisation dysfunction in schizophrenia, we assessed, using Kahneman and Neisser's Visual Suffix Task, the ability to process configural stimuli made up of noncontiguous elements. Both acute and chronic schizophrenia patients demonstrated the same degree of responsivity to the grouping manipulations as psychotic nonschizophrenia and nonpatient control groups. These data provide further evidence that schizophrenia patients can perceptually organise configural stimuli, and that their perceptual organisation difficulties are limited to organising nonconfigural sets of stimuli into perceptual wholes. Implications of these data for understanding the attentional difficulties and the underlying structure of the visual system in schizophrenia are discussed.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/135468098396161

Publication date: August 1, 1998

psych/pcnp/1998/00000003/00000003/art00005
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