Enhancement of latent inhibition in patients with chronic schizophrenia

Gilad Gal, Yael Barnea, Lior Biran, Shlomo Mendlovic, Tamir Gedi, Michal Halavy, Joram Feldon, Shmuel Fennig, Yechiel Levkovitz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Objectives: Latent inhibition (LI) refers to the retarding effects of inconsequential stimulus preexposure on subsequent conditioning to that stimulus, and reflects the organism's capacity to ignore irrelevant stimuli. LI is disrupted in schizophrenia patients, due to faster learning of the association between the conditioned stimulus (CS) and an unconditioned stimulus (US). It was recently proposed that LI has an additional pole of abnormality indicated by LI persistence. Methods: Two experiments were performed to test this hypothesis. Both experiments applied a new within-subject, visual recognition LI procedure in which the association between a cue (CS) and the target (US) is acquired. In Exp 1 the task was applied to healthy volunteers (n = 21). In Exp 2 chronic schizophrenia patients (n = 19) were compared to control subjects (n = 20). Results: In Exp 1 the subjects showed LI in the initial trials of cue-target pairings, and an attenuation of the phenomenon at later trials. In Exp 2 control subjects showed a pattern of response comparable to the subjects of Exp 1, while the patients showed LI only on the later trials of the task. Conclusions: This result suggests that patients with chronic schizophrenia showed LI persistence. The possible advantages of the new LI paradigm are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalBehavioural Brain Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 30 Jan 2009


  • Chronic schizophrenia
  • Latent inhibition
  • Perseveration
  • Within-subject design


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