Are high-schizotypal normal participants distractible or limited in attentional resources? A study of latent inhibition as a function of masking task load and schizotypy level

Hedva Braunstein-Bercovitz, R. E. Lubow*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Two experiments with normal participants examined the effects of masking and masking task toad on latent inhibition (LI, poorer learning for a previously exposed irrelevant stimulus than for a novel stimulus) as a function of level of schizotypality. In Experiment 1, a masking task was needed to produce LI. In Experiment 2, with low load, LI was present in low- but not high-schizotypal participants. In high load, LI was abolished in low-schizotypal participants, but only approached significance in high- schizotypal participants. The data support a distraction- rather than a resource-limitation model of attentional dysfunction in high-schizotypal normal participants. In addition, the data indicate that obtaining LI requires that Some attention be initially allocated to the preexposed stimulus and then reduced. Implications of the model for understanding attentional dysfunction in schizophrenia are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)659-670
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Abnormal Psychology
Volume107
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1998

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