DOI: 10.1101/498568Dec 18, 2018Paper

Acquisition of visual priors and induced hallucinations in chronic schizophrenia

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Vincent ValtonPeggy Seriès


Prominent theories suggest that symptoms of schizophrenia stem from learning deficiencies resulting in distorted internal models of the world. To further test these theories, we here use a visual statistical learning task known to induce rapid implicit learning of the stimulus statistics (Chalk et al., 2010). In this task, participants are presented with a field of coherently moving dots and need to report the presented direction of the dots (estimation task) and whether they saw any dots or not (detection task). Two of the directions were more frequently presented than the others. In controls, the implicit acquisition of the stimuli statistics influences their perception in two ways: 1- motion directions are perceived as being more similar to the most frequently presented directions than they really are (estimation biases); 2- in the absence of stimuli, participants sometimes report perceiving the most frequently presented directions (a form of hallucinations). Such behaviour is consistent with probabilistic inference, i.e. combining learnt perceptual priors with sensory evidence. We investigated whether patients with chronic, stable, treated schizophrenia (n=20) differ from controls (n=23) in the acquisition of the perceptual...Continue Reading

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