The associations between multisensory temporal processing and symptoms of schizophrenia

Schizophr Res. 2017 Jan;179:97-103. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2016.09.035. Epub 2016 Oct 13.


Recent neurobiological accounts of schizophrenia have included an emphasis on changes in sensory processing. These sensory and perceptual deficits can have a cascading effect onto higher-level cognitive processes and clinical symptoms. One form of sensory dysfunction that has been consistently observed in schizophrenia is altered temporal processing. In this study, we investigated temporal processing within and across the auditory and visual modalities in individuals with schizophrenia (SCZ) and age-matched healthy controls. Individuals with SCZ showed auditory and visual temporal processing abnormalities, as well as multisensory temporal processing dysfunction that extended beyond that attributable to unisensory processing dysfunction. Most importantly, these multisensory temporal deficits were associated with the severity of hallucinations. This link between atypical multisensory temporal perception and clinical symptomatology suggests that clinical symptoms of schizophrenia may be at least partly a result of cascading effects from (multi)sensory disturbances. These results are discussed in terms of underlying neural bases and the possible implications for remediation.

Keywords: Audiovisual; Hallucinations; Multisensory integration; Schizophrenia; Speech perception; Temporal processing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Auditory Perception / physiology*
  • Female
  • Hallucinations / etiology
  • Hallucinations / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Perceptual Disorders / etiology
  • Perceptual Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Schizophrenia / complications
  • Schizophrenia / physiopathology*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Time Perception / physiology*
  • Visual Perception / physiology*