Assessing neural tuning for object perception in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder with multivariate pattern analysis of fMRI data

Eric A. Reavis, Junghee Lee, Jonathan K. Wynn, Stephen A. Engel, Mark S. Cohen, Keith H. Nuechterlein, David C. Glahn, Lori L. Altshuler, Michael F. Green

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Introduction Deficits in visual perception are well-established in schizophrenia and are linked to abnormal activity in the lateral occipital complex (LOC). Related deficits may exist in bipolar disorder. LOC contains neurons tuned to object features. It is unknown whether neural tuning in LOC or other visual areas is abnormal in patients, contributing to abnormal perception during visual tasks. This study used multivariate pattern analysis (MVPA) to investigate perceptual tuning for objects in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Methods Fifty schizophrenia participants, 51 bipolar disorder participants, and 47 matched healthy controls completed five functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) runs of a perceptual task in which they viewed pictures of four different objects and an outdoor scene. We performed classification analyses designed to assess the distinctiveness of activity corresponding to perception of each stimulus in LOC (a functionally localized region of interest). We also performed similar classification analyses throughout the brain using a searchlight technique. We compared classification accuracy and patterns of classification errors across groups. Results Stimulus classification accuracy was significantly above chance in all groups in LOC and throughout visual cortex. Classification errors were mostly within-category confusions (e.g., misclassifying one chair as another chair). There were no group differences in classification accuracy or patterns of confusion. Conclusions The results show for the first time MVPA can be used successfully to classify individual perceptual stimuli in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. However, the results do not provide evidence of abnormal neural tuning in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)491-497
Number of pages7
JournalNeuroImage: Clinical
StatePublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017


This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health R01MH095878 , to MFG, “Visual Tuning and Performance in Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder.” EAR was also supported by the NIH under Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award F32MH108317 . NIMH had no role in the conduct of the study. The authors wish to thank Ana Ceci Meyers, Julio Iglesias, and the rest of the laboratory staff for their help with data collection. This work used computational and storage services associated with the Hoffman2 Shared Cluster provided by UCLA Institute for Digital Research and Education's Research Technology Group.

FundersFunder number
National Institutes of HealthR01MH095878
National Institute of Mental HealthF32MH108317


    • Bipolar disorder
    • Multivariate pattern analysis
    • Schizophrenia
    • Visual perception
    • fMRI


    Dive into the research topics of 'Assessing neural tuning for object perception in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder with multivariate pattern analysis of fMRI data'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this