The 'benefits' of distractibility: Mechanisms underlying increased stroop effects in schizophrenia

Deanna M. Barch, Cameron S. Carter, P. Charles Hachten, Marius Usher, Jonathan D. Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations


Recent studies of selective attention in schizophrenia patients suggest a particular pattern of single-trial Stroop performance: increased facilitation but not interference in reaction times (RTs), combined with increased error interference. Our Stroop task analysis suggests that this pattern can be explained by a selective attention deficit if one accounts for (1) performance in the congruent condition; (2) the nature of the neutral stimulus; (3) the relationship between accuracy and RT; and (4) response set effects. To test these hypotheses, we examined Stroop performance in 40 DSM- IV schizophrenia patients and 20 healthy control subjects, using a range of neutral stimuli (color patches, noncolor words, color words not in the response set). The findings confirmed several of our predictions and the results were consistent with the hypothesis that abnormal Stroop performance in schizophrenia reflects a failure to adequately attend to the task- appropriate stimulus dimension (color). This inattention affects both the congruent and incongruent conditions and multiple points in the information processing pathway.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)749-762
Number of pages14
JournalSchizophrenia Bulletin
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


  • Inhibition
  • Schizophrenia
  • Stroop


Dive into the research topics of 'The 'benefits' of distractibility: Mechanisms underlying increased stroop effects in schizophrenia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this