Patients with schizophrenia are known to have impairments in sensory processing. In order to understand the specific temporal perception deficits of schizophrenia, we investigated and determined to what extent impairments in temporal integration can be dissociated from attention deployment using Attentional Blink (AB). Our findings showed that there was no evident deficit in the deployment of attention in patients with schizophrenia. However, patients showed an increased temporal integration deficit within a hundred-millisecond timescale. The degree of such integration dysfunction was correlated with the clinical manifestations of schizophrenia. There was no difference between individuals with/without schizotypal personality disorder in temporal integration. Differently from previous studies using the AB, we did not find a significant impairment in deployment of attention in schizophrenia. Instead, we used both theoretical and empirical approaches to show that previous findings (using the suppression ratio to correct for the baseline difference) produced a systematic exaggeration of the attention deficits. Instead, we modulated the perceptual difficulty of the task to bring the baseline levels of target detection between the groups into closer alignment. We found that the integration dysfunction rather than deployment of attention is clinically relevant, and thus should be an additional focus of research in schizophrenia.
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