Performance Characteristics of Chronic Schizophrenia on Attention Tests Sensitive to Unilateral Brain Damage

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The aims of this study were to investigate the lateralization hypothesis of schizophrenia, comparing chronic schizophrenics with unilateral brain-damaged subjects and normal controls, using attentional tests sensitive to the unilateral brain damage. Three attentional tests with different modes of stimuli, two vigilance tasks that require the self-paced or nonself-paced responses of subjects and one divided attention task, were administered to 28 chronic schizophrenics, 26 right and 24 left unilateral brain-damaged subjects, and 20 normal controls. The results indicated that schizophrenics performed a possible right-hemisphere damages pattern and also a left pattern in part, with failure of all tasks to show either pattern related to a number of differences between the three tasks. Furthermore, the attention deficits of schizophrenics are less than those of brain-damaged subjects but are clearly abnormal compared with the normal controls.

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