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INTRODUCTION: Schizophrenia is currently diagnosed on the basis of patient reports and clinical observations. A diagnosis based on aetiology is inherently more reliable due to being closer to the disease process than the overt clinical manifestations. Accordingly, recent research in schizophrenia has focused on the development of biomarkers in a bit to improve the reliability and neurobiological relevance of the diagnosis. Visual information processing is one of these promising fields of recent biomarker research. AREAS COVERED: This article provides an overview of the available literature regarding deficits in schizophrenia detectable through psychophysical (contrast and motion sensitivity, visual backward-masking), ERP (P1 and N1 visual evoked potentials) and oscillatory (signal power and phase-locking factor of evoked oscilations) measures and their validity as trait or state biomarkers of the disease. The methodology included a search on articles related to visual information processing in schizophrenia on the PubMed database. EXPERT OPINION: Biomarker research in schizophrenia is a rapidly expanding area. Evidence exists to suggest that both psychotic and manic symptoms are associated with visual processing abnormalities. A specific impairment confined to the magnocellular component of the visual system might be a trait biomarker of schizophrenia.

Original publication

DOI

10.1517/17530059.2011.586029

Type

Journal article

Journal

Expert Opin Med Diagn

Publication Date

01/07/2011

Volume

5

Pages

357 - 368