Low spatial frequency bias in schizophrenia is not face specific: When the integration of coarse and fine information fails
Laprevote, V., Oliva, A., Ternois, A.S., Schwan, R., Thomas, P., & Boucart, M. (2013). Frontier in Psychopathology, vol 4, 248

Studies have shown that patients with schizophrenia exhibit visual processing impairments, particularly regarding the processing of spatial frequencies. In a previous work, we found that, compared to healthy volunteers, patients were biased toward low spatial frequencies (LSF) to identify facial expression at a glance. Given the ubiquity of faces in visual perception, it remains an open question whether the LSF bias is face specific or also occurs with other visual objects. Here, 15 patients with schizophrenia and 11 healthy control adults performed a categorization task with hybrid stimuli. These stimuli were single images consisting of two different objects, a fruit and an animal, each in a specific spatial frequency range, either low (LSF) or high (HSF). Observers were asked to report if they saw an animal or a fruit. The reported category demonstrated which spatial scale was preferentially perceived in each trial. In a control experiment, participants performed the same task but with images of only a single object, either a LSF or HSF filtered animal or fruit, to verify that participants could perceive both HSF or LSF when presented in isolation. The results on the categorization task showed that patients chose more frequently LSF with hybrid stimuli compared to healthy controls. However, both populations performed equally well with HSF and LSF filtered pictures in the control experiment, demonstrating that the LSF preference found with hybrid stimuli in patients was not due to an inability to perceive HSF. The LSF preference found in schizophrenia confirms our previous study conducted with faces, and shows that this LSF bias generalizes to other categories of objects. When a broad range of spatial frequencies are present in the image, as in normal conditions of viewing, patients preferentially rely on coarse visual information contained in LSF. This result may be interpreted as a dysfunction of the guidance of HSF processing by LSF processing.