Visual masking in schizophrenia: Overview and theoretical implications

Michael F. Green, Junghee Lee, Jonathan K. Wynn, Kristopher I. Mathis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


Visual masking provides several key advantages for exploring the earliest stages of visual processing in schizophrenia: it allows for control over timing at the millisecond level, there are several well-supported theories of the underlying neurobiology of visual masking, and it is amenable to examination by electroencephalogram (EEG) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). In this paper, we provide an overview of the visual masking impairment schizophrenia, including the relevant theoretical mechanisms for masking impairment. We will discuss its relationship to clinical symptoms, antipsychotic medications, diagnostic specificity, and presence in at-risk populations. As part of this overview, we will cover the neural correlates of visual masking based on recent findings from EEG and fMRI. Finally, we will suggest a possible mechanism that could explain the patterns of masking findings and other visual processing findings in schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)700-708
Number of pages9
JournalSchizophrenia Bulletin
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2011
Externally publishedYes


FundersFunder number
National Institute of Mental HealthR29MH043292


    • neural tuning
    • schizophrenia
    • visual masking
    • visual processing


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