Tone discrimination performance in schizophrenic patients and normal volunteers: impact of stimulus presentation levels and frequency differences

Henry H. Holcomb, Eva K. Ritzl, Deborah R. Medoff, Jonathan Nevitt, Barry Gordon, Carol A. Tamminga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

46 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Psychophysical and cognitive studies carried out in schizophrenic patients show high within-group performance variance and sizable differences between patients and normal volunteers. Experimental manipulation of a target's signal-to-noise characteristics can, however, make a given task more or less difficult for a given subject. Such signal-to-noise manipulations can substantially reduce performance differences between individuals. Frequency and presentation level (volume) changes of an auditory tone can make a sound more or less difficult to recognize. This study determined how the discrimination accuracy of medicated schizophrenic patients and normal volunteers changed when the frequency difference between two tones (high frequency vs. low frequency) and the presentation levels of tones were systematically degraded. The investigators hypothesized that each group would become impaired in its discrimination accuracy when tone signals were degraded by making the frequencies more similar and the presentation levels lower. Schizophrenic patients were slower and less accurate than normal volunteers on tests using four tone levels and two frequency differences; the schizophrenic patient group showed a significant decrement in accuracy when the signal-to-noise characteristics of the target tones were degraded. The benefits of controlling stimulus discrimination difficulty in functional imaging paradigms are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-82
Number of pages8
JournalPsychiatry Research
Volume57
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 29 1995

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Keywords

  • Attention
  • Auditory discrimination
  • Psychophysical parameters

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Psychology(all)

Cite this

Tone discrimination performance in schizophrenic patients and normal volunteers : impact of stimulus presentation levels and frequency differences. / Holcomb, Henry H.; Ritzl, Eva K.; Medoff, Deborah R.; Nevitt, Jonathan; Gordon, Barry; Tamminga, Carol A.

In: Psychiatry Research, Vol. 57, No. 1, 29.06.1995, p. 75-82.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Holcomb, Henry H. ; Ritzl, Eva K. ; Medoff, Deborah R. ; Nevitt, Jonathan ; Gordon, Barry ; Tamminga, Carol A. / Tone discrimination performance in schizophrenic patients and normal volunteers : impact of stimulus presentation levels and frequency differences. In: Psychiatry Research. 1995 ; Vol. 57, No. 1. pp. 75-82.
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