Bruce Christensen
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, and
Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto

Visual indicators of anomalous brain organization among persons with Schizophrenia.

The current research utilizes an evolutionary model of brain development, the Dual Trends Theory (DTT), to further understand the cognitive and neurobiological abnormalities in Schizophrenia (SCZ). The DTT argues that neural architecture develops along two separate pathways: the dorsal 'archicortical' trend and the ventral 'paleocortical' trend. The DTT dovetails with the leading paradigm of primate vision that also distinguishes two independent pathways in the brain: one devoted to processing spatial, motion and visuomotor aspects of our visual world (i.e., dorsal trend), the other for processing features necessary for object perception and identification (i.e., ventral trend). The current studies tested the hypothesis that SCZ is associated with disproportionate dysfunction in dorsal brain circuitry by utilizing visual-perceptual and visual-motor tasks known to dissociate these pathways. Collectively these studies suggest that neurodevelopmental abnormalities in SCZ may disproportionately affect dorsal brain systems.