Schizophrenia: a neurophysiological evaluation of abnormal information processing

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Science  18 Feb 1983:
Vol. 219, Issue 4586, pp. 874-876
DOI: 10.1126/science.6823555


Evoked potential indices of an early and late stage of attentional processing were recorded from schizophrenic and normal subjects during dichotic listening tasks. Despite slow and inaccurate detections, the schizophrenic subjects were able to focus selectively to different ears but only at a fast stimulation rate, showing integrity of the early selective stage. They showed an abnormal late stage, indicating inefficiency in processing information from detected targets. Marked deficits at a slow stimulation rate and during divided attention suggest that the schizophrenic attention disorder is one of control and maintenance of a selective processing strategy rather than of general slowness or absence of selectivity.