The literature has long emphasized the involvement of cortical and subcortical networks in executive function impairments among patients with schizophrenia. However, previous studies have not examined the relative involvement of monocular (mostly subcortical) versus binocular (mostly cortical) neural tracks in patients' EF deficits. Patients with schizophrenia and healthy comparisons were administered a dichotic version of the Stroop task, in which eye-of-origin manipulation was employed to isolate the involvement of monocular (mostly subcortical; thalamic regions) versus binocular (mostly cortical; extrastriate cortex) visual pathways. The eye-of-origin manipulation, in which a color patch (e.g., a green patch) was presented to one eye, and a word (e.g., “RED”) to the other eye, enabled a split of the conflicting information between the two monocular channels. This results in the presentation of conflicting information to the higher cortical regions, but not to the lower subcortical structures. In the Stroop color task, when the monocular neural channels were not exposed to the conflicting information, the differences in task performance between the patients and the HCs significantly increased, and only the patients exhibited larger task conflict. When monocular neural channels were not exposed to the conflicting information, a robust dysfunction of the patients' group was observed. This abnormality might result from impairments in cortical regions or reduced computational power available for solving the conflict. However, additional studies that take into account the resolution of monocular and binocular neural channels are needed to enrich our understanding of the interplay between cortical and subcortical mechanisms in patients' EF deficits.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
None of the authors have a conflict of interest to report. Support for this study was provided by the Department of psychology and the Institute of Information Processing and Decision Making at the University of Haifa . We would like to thank Hostel “Inbalim” Haifa, for agreeing to cooperate with us in the present study, and to the participants for their time and dedication while participating in this study.
© 2020 The Authors
- Executive functions
- Monocular neural channels
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cognitive Neuroscience
- Psychiatry and Mental health