A couple of years ago, researchers at the University of London found that schizophrenics were not easily deceived by visual illusions. But still, their illness can make it difficult for them to distinguish the truth from fiction.
This study on schizophrenia test has shown that they can see through some optical illusions. Therefore, it is interesting that it helps support one interpretation about this mysterious mental illness – this may a result of a general icapability to interpret sensory information in the appropriate context.
“We often think of people with schizophrenia, as they do not see the world as it really is. For example, during hallucinations – but we showed that sometimes their vision can be more accurate than those who do not suffer from it,” says doctor Stephen Dakin, UCL Institute of Ophthalmology.
Can you find a model that matches the pattern correctly in the middle of the circle?
Which one of the circles on the right do you think corresponds to the selected fragment in the template? Remember your answer, because we have another test of psychological illusion for you.
In the image below, select the template corresponding to the selected area:
Now that you have the answers for both the first and second test, let’s see if you were right, and if so, what it means for you.
For the first test:
For the second test:
How the Schizophrenia Test was Done
Participants were shown images with high contrast of black and white patterns, with some sections contrasting at lower levels. Further, they must correspond to the contrast of the altered section that is double in the line of other identical shapes.
Schizophrenics solve this task pretty fast and think it’s very easy, because their brain doesn’t notice the surrounding information when assessing the contrast level in the altered section. For healthy people, a high background contrast reduces the apparent contrast of the smaller foreground characters.
These results will amaze you: 12 out of 15 schizophrenic participants were the most accurate in the perception of the contrast between the foreground and the background. The authors hope that their research may have some diagnostic significance. The existing criteria for diagnosis of schizophrenia as a rule, is subjective and based on interviews. This study can be a good step towards more objective diagnosis one day.
For the average eye, the background makes the central disc appear slightly grayer than it actually is. Then the researchers assessed the perception of the subjects, showing them a series of discs of increased grayness.
Observers had to guess whether it was lighter or darker than the original image.
Doctor Stephen Dakin explained: “As a rule, contextual processes in the brain help us focus on what is relevant. This can stop our brain being overwhelmed with information. This process appears to be less effective in the schizophrenic brain. Perhaps because of insufficient inhibition – that is, the process by which cells in the brain switch each other out.”
So, the theory about why many schizophrenics distort the actions of people and can feel like they are being persecuted lies in the context.