Disruption of Conscious Access in Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a severe and complex psychiatric disorder resulting in delusions, hallucinations, and cognitive impairments. Across a variety of paradigms, an elevated threshold for conscious perception has been repeatedly observed in persons with schizophrenia. Remarkably, even subtle measures of subliminal processing appear to be preserved. We argue here that the dissociation between impaired conscious access and intact unconscious processing may be due to a specific disruption of top-down attentional amplification.