Temporal processing dysfunction in schizophrenia

Brain Cogn. 2008 Jul;67(2):150-61. doi: 10.1016/j.bandc.2007.12.005. Epub 2008 Feb 11.

Abstract

Schizophrenia may be associated with a fundamental disturbance in the temporal coordination of information processing in the brain, leading to classic symptoms of schizophrenia such as thought disorder and disorganized and contextually inappropriate behavior. Despite the growing interest and centrality of time-dependent conceptualizations of the pathophysiology of schizophrenia, there remains a paucity of research directly examining overt timing performance in the disorder. Accordingly, the present study investigated timing in schizophrenia using a well-established task of time perception. Twenty-three individuals with schizophrenia and 22 non-psychiatric control participants completed a temporal bisection task, which required participants to make temporal judgments about auditory and visually presented durations ranging from 300 to 600 ms. Both schizophrenia and control groups displayed greater visual compared to auditory timing variability, with no difference between groups in the visual modality. However, individuals with schizophrenia exhibited less temporal precision than controls in the perception of auditory durations. These findings correlated with parameter estimates obtained from a quantitative model of time estimation, and provide evidence of a fundamental deficit in temporal auditory precision in schizophrenia.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Concept Formation / physiology*
  • Discrimination, Psychological / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Recall
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Retention, Psychology
  • Schizophrenia / diagnosis
  • Schizophrenia / physiopathology*
  • Schizophrenic Psychology*
  • Time Perception / physiology*