Schizophrenia and red light: fMRI evidence for a novel biobehavioral marker

Int J Neurosci. 2006 Aug;116(8):881-94. doi: 10.1080/00207450500516529.


Previous research has demonstrated the ability of diffuse red light to suppress activity in the magnocellular (M) visual pathway. An earlier psychophysical study found that a subset of nonpsychotic relatives of persons with schizophrenia showed the opposite effect when compared to healthy adults (Bedwell et al., 2003), suggesting a novel biobehavioral marker for the disorder. The present study attempted to replicate and explore the mechanism for this effect using fMRI. Results provide physiological evidence that the M pathway response to red light is in the opposite direction than expected in a subset of nonpsychotic relatives of persons with schizophrenia.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biomarkers
  • Color Perception / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging* / methods
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests / statistics & numerical data
  • Photic Stimulation / methods
  • Schizophrenia / diagnosis
  • Schizophrenia / physiopathology*
  • Schizophrenic Psychology*
  • Visual Pathways / blood supply*


  • Biomarkers