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Visual population receptive fields in people with schizophrenia have reduced inhibitory surrounds

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Elaine J. Anderson, Marc S. Tibber, D. Sam Schwarzkopf, Sukhwinder Shergill, Emilio Fernandez-Egea, Geraint Rees, Steven C. Dakin

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1546-1556
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 8 Feb 2017


King's Authors


People with schizophrenia (SZ) experience abnormal visual perception on a range of visual tasks, which have been linked to abnormal synaptic transmission and an imbalance between cortical excitation and inhibition. However, differences in the underlying architecture of visual cortex neurons, which might explain these visual anomalies, have yet to be reported in vivo. Here, we probed the neural basis of these deficits using fMRI and population receptive field (pRF) mapping to infer properties of visually responsive neurons in people with SZ. We employed a difference-of-Gaussian model to capture the center-surround configuration of the pRF, providing critical information about the spatial scale of the pRFs inhibitory surround. Our analysis reveals that SZ is associated with reduced pRF size in early retinotopic visual cortex, as well as a reduction in size and depth of the inhibitory surround in V1, V2, and V4. We consider how reduced inhibition might explain the diverse range of visual deficits reported in SZ.

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