PMID: 12645676Mar 21, 2003

A comparison between schizophrenia patients and healthy controls on the expression of attentional blink in a rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) paradigm

Schizophrenia Bulletin
Vinci CheungBenjamin K Yee


The expression of attentional blink (AB) in 24 schizophrenia inpatients was compared to 22 healthy subjects in a dual-target rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) paradigm in which a sequence of discrete stimuli was presented in rapid succession. Correct identification of the first target led to poorer detection of the second one when they were interspersed by distractors. This second-target deficit constitutes the AB effect, which is most pronounced between 200 and 500 ms after the offset of the first target stimulus and steadily decays as the number of intervening distractors increases. Despite relatively poor performance in terms of target identification within RSVP streams, schizophrenia patients expressed an AB effect that was as clear as that seen in healthy subjects. Moreover, there was evidence for an enhanced AB effect in schizophrenia patients. This outcome contrasts with the robust finding that schizophrenia patients are attenuated in the expression of prepulse inhibition, another paradigm believed to assess attentional control. The present results add to the extensive literature on the nature and specification of attentional dysfunction implicated in schizophrenia.


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Related Concepts

Mental Concentration
Critical Incident Technique
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