The reliability and clinical correlates of figure-ground perception in schizophrenia

Dolores Malaspina, Naomi Simon, Raymond R. Goetz, Cheryl Corcoran, Eliza Coleman, David Printz, Lilianne Mujica-Parodi, Rachel Wolitzky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Schizophrenia subjects are impaired in a number of visual attention paradigms. However, their performance on tests of figure-ground visual perception (FGP), which requires subjects to visually discriminate figures embedded in a rival background, is relatively unstudied. We examined FGP in 63 schizophrenia patients and 27 control subjects and found that the patients performed the FGP test reliably and had significantly lower FGP scores than the control subjects. Figure-ground visual perception was significantly correlated with other neuropsychological test scores and was inversely related to negative symptoms. It was unrelated to antipsychotic medication treatment. Figure-ground visual perception depends on "top down" processing of visual stimuli, and thus this data suggests that dysfunction in the higher-level pathways that modulate visual perceptual processes may also be related to a core defect in schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-283
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2004


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