August 2016
Volume 16, Issue 12
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2016
Electrophysiological correlates of backward masking in students scoring high in cognitive disorganization
Author Affiliations
  • Ophalie Favrod
    Laboratory of Psychophysics, Brain Mind Institute, Swiss Institute of Technology (EPFL), Switzerland
  • Guillaume Sierro
    Faculté des sciences sociales et politiques, Institut de Psychologie, Bâtiment Anthropole, Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Maya Roinishvili
    Vision Research Laboratory, Beritashvili Centre of Experimental Biomedicine, Tbilisi, Georgia
  • Eka Chkonia
    Institute of Cognitive Neurosciences, Agricultural University of Georgia, Tbilisi, Georgia
  • Christine Mohr
    Faculté des sciences sociales et politiques, Institut de Psychologie, Bâtiment Anthropole, Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Céline Cappe
    Laboratory of Psychophysics, Brain Mind Institute, Swiss Institute of Technology (EPFL), Switzerland
  • Michael Herzog
    Laboratory of Psychophysics, Brain Mind Institute, Swiss Institute of Technology (EPFL), Switzerland
Journal of Vision September 2016, Vol.16, 1224. doi:10.1167/16.12.1224
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      Ophalie Favrod, Guillaume Sierro, Maya Roinishvili, Eka Chkonia, Christine Mohr, Céline Cappe, Michael Herzog; Electrophysiological correlates of backward masking in students scoring high in cognitive disorganization . Journal of Vision 2016;16(12):1224. doi: 10.1167/16.12.1224.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

Visual deficits are well documented in schizophrenia. For example, in backward masking a Vernier is followed by a blank inter-stimulus interval (ISI) and then a grating mask. Observers indicate the direction of the Vernier offset (left vs right). Patients need ISIs that are 120ms longer than in healthy controls. Interestingly, these masking deficits are reflected in strongly reduced EEG amplitudes in schizophrenia patients when compared to healthy controls. Schizophrenia is considered to lie on a continuum ranging from strongly affected patients to healthy people with schizotypic personality traits. Schizotypic traits are measured with self report questionnaires such as the sO-LIFE. In analogy to patients, schizotypic traits are divided in positive (e.g., hallucinations), negative (e.g., anhedonia) traits and cognitive disorganization (CogDis). It has been shown that healthy students scoring high in CogDis show higher masking deficits than students scoring low in CogDis. On average, high CogDis students need ISIs that are 20ms longer than in low CogDis students. Here, we show that preselected high as compared to low CogDis students show reduced EEG amplitudes, but to a lower extent than do patients. We computed the Global Field Power (GFP), which is the standard deviation across all 192 EEG electrodes. The GFP is a measure of the overall strength of brain activity. We found deficits at 200ms after stimulus onset associated with the N1 component. This component is related to ventral stream processing and fine shape discrimination. We suggest that mechanisms necessary to boost faint stimuli are deficient in schizophrenia patients and attenuated in high CogDis students. Elevated CogDis seems to be a risk factor for schizophrenia.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2016

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