Performance on the visual search analog of latent inhibition is modulated by an interaction between schizotypy and gender

R. E. Lubow, Oren Kaplan, Gonzalo De la Casa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Two experiments examined the visual search analog of latent inhibition (LI) and the novel popout (NPO) effect in healthy humans. In Experiments 1 (n = 48) and 2 (n = 180), subjects judged the positions (left or right side of a computer screen) of a unique target amongst a field of homogeneous distractors. In both experiments, there was a strong LI effect, as indicated by longer response times (RT) to those displays in which the target was previously a distractor and the distractors were previously the target, as compared with displays in which the target was novel and the distractors were previously the target. NPO, faster RT to a display in which the target was novel on a background of familiar distractors than to a display in which both target and distractors were novel, was not obtained. In Experiment 1, LI magnitude was not affected by gender. In Experiment 2, LI magnitude was larger for low schizotypal females than for high schizotypal females, a result not obtained for males. This pattern is similar to one reported for medicated schizophrenic out-patients (Lubow, R.E., Kaplan, O., Abramovich, P., Rudnick, R., Laor, N., 2000. Visual search in schizophrenics: latent inhibition and novel popout effects. Schizophr. Res., in press). Together, these data suggest that the LI deficits found in high schizotypal healthy subjects and in schizophrenic patients represent a dysfunction that is characterized by an inability to reduce attention allocated to irrelevant stimuli, and that this may serve as a trait marker for some subtypes of schizophrenia, particularly those associated with female gender.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-287
Number of pages13
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Volume52
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2001

Keywords

  • Attention
  • Gender
  • Latent inhibition
  • Schizophrenia
  • Schizotypy
  • Visual search

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