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April 1990

What Is Left of Attention in Schizophrenia?

Author Affiliations

Clinical Brain Disorders Branch National Institute of Mental Health Neurosciences Center at St Elizabeth's 2700 Martin Luther King, Jr, Ave SE Washington, DC 20032

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1990;47(4):393-394. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1990.01810160093014

To the Editor.—  Posner and colleagues1 have made considerable strides studying how the parietal lobe controls covert shifts of attention in the visual-spatial domain. They have recently used the methods developed from using tasks that have simple separable cognitive components in the study of hemispheric control of attention in schizophrenia.2 As part of this study, 12 schizophrenic patients were compared with 30 normal control subjects in a spatial-orienting task. Mean reaction time (RT) was measured as a function of cue condition (no cue, valid, or invalid), cue to target interval (100 or 800 milliseconds), and visual field (VF) (left or right). The normal subjects showed the expected RT advantage for a valid cue that was independent of VF but slightly elevated for the shorter cue interval. The schizophrenic subjects showed no significant difference between the VFs for the valid cue but a strong difference between VFs in