A review of abnormalities in the perception of visual illusions in schizophrenia

Daniel J. King, Joanne Hodgekins, Philippe A. Chouinard, Virginie Anne Chouinard, Irene Sperandio*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Specific abnormalities of vision in schizophrenia have been observed to affect high-level and some low-level integration mechanisms, suggesting that people with schizophrenia may experience anomalies across different stages in the visual system affecting either early or late processing or both. Here, we review the research into visual illusion perception in schizophrenia and the issues which previous research has faced. One general finding that emerged from the literature is that those with schizophrenia are mostly immune to the effects of high-level illusory displays, but this effect is not consistent across all low-level illusions. The present review suggests that this resistance is due to the weakening of top–down perceptual mechanisms and may be relevant to the understanding of symptoms of visual distortion rather than hallucinations as previously thought.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)734-751
Number of pages18
JournalPsychonomic Bulletin and Review
Issue number3
Early online date11 Oct 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2017

Bibliographical note

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.


  • High-level vision
  • Low-level vision
  • Schizophrenia
  • Visual illusions


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