Schizotypal traits and anomalous perceptual experiences are associated with greater visual temporal acuity

Michele Deodato, Luca Ronconi, David Melcher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


One of the main tasks of the human visual system is to organize the temporal flow of visual events into meaningful patterns. It has been suggested that segregation/integration of continuous visual stimuli relies on temporal windows that are phase-locked to brain oscillations in the alpha frequency range (~10 Hz). From a behavioral point of view, the balance between integration and segregation is reflected in visual temporal acuity: the ability to perceive a small temporal gap between two identical stimuli. Disruption of this balance may lead to impairment of perceptual organization processes. Notably, schizophrenia, a condition characterized by unusual perceptual experiences, has been associated with abnormal temporal processing of sensory stimuli and aberrant oscillations. We asked a large cohort of healthy participants to complete an online version of the two-flash fusion task and two questionnaires for schizotypal personality traits to investigate individual differences in the temporal resolution of perception, particularly its relationship with anomalous perceptual experiences. We found that two-flash discrimination acuity declines with age and that schizotypal traits are associated with better performances. Although this association was strong for perceptual and cognitive subscales, we found that this result could not be attributed to response biases (e.g., hallucination of two flashes). While these results appear to contrast with findings of slower alpha rhythms and sensory processing in schizotypy, we propose that a faster visual rate could be the consequence of an oscillopathy or a disconnection between different sensory modalities and their physiological pacemaker.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalSchizophrenia Research
StatePublished - Jul 2024


  • Alpha oscillations
  • Schizotypy
  • Temporal acuity
  • Visual perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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