A comparison of psychiatric patients and normal controls on the integration of auditory stimuli

Harvey Babkoff, Samuel Sutton, Joseph Zubin, Dov Har-Even

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Temporal processing of sensory auditory information was investigated in 27 psychiatric patients and 29 normal controls by measuring forced choice thresholds for the right ear to bursts of noise stimuli of three different durations—4, 32, and 128 msec. Psychiatric patients were found to be 5 dB less sensitive than normal controls. A subsequent analysis compared the normal controls with three subgroups of psychiatric patients differentiated according to symptom profile. Those psychiatric patients whose main symptoms were affective showed a shallower threshold duration integration function than did normal controls. Patients whose major symptoms were delusions of persecution and depersonalization showed a slightly steeper slope than normal controls, whereas patients whose major symptoms were hallucinations and lack of insight showed the steepest slope.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-178
Number of pages16
JournalPsychiatry Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 1980

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgment. This research was supported by grant #770 from the United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation. The authors are extremely grateful for the aid, encouragement, and cooperation of Dr. 0. Haker, Director of the J. Abar-bane1M ental Hospital, Bat-Yam, and Dr. R.H. Belmaker, Clinical Research Director at Ezrath Nashim Hospital, Jerusalem, for providing the psychiatric patients and hospital facilities for this study. Without their active support, this study could not have been accomplished. In addition, the authors wish to express their gratitude to Mr. J. Gutgold for aid in building and maintaining the equipment; to Mrs. Y. Edward (Honig) and to Dr. M. Snyder for their aid in the researcha nd data analysis. We would like to thank Dr. B.J. Gurland for helpful discussions with respectt o patient classification and Drs. M.L. Kietzman and P. Collins for making available the reaction time-duration data for their normal and psychiatric populations.


  • Hallucinations
  • affective patients
  • auditory temporal integration
  • reaction time
  • schizophrenic patients
  • visual temporal integration


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