Color vision impairments in schizophrenia and the role of antipsychotic medication type

Thiago Monteiro Paiva Fernandes, Steven M. Silverstein, Pamela D. Butler, Szabolcs Kéri, Lucas Galdino Santos, Renata Lyra Nogueira, Natanael Antonio Santos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Schizophrenia patients (SCZ) demonstrate deficits in many domains of mental functioning, including visual perception. An issue that has been relatively unexplored, in terms of explaining variation in visual function in SCZ, however, is medication use. The present study explored potential medication effects on color vision in SCZ, a process that is strongly linked to dopaminergic function in the retina. SCZ patients who had clear-cut either typical (n = 29) or atypical (n = 29) monotherapy, without any other concurrent medication, and a group of age- and gender-matched healthy controls participated in the study. Color vision was assessed by the Cambridge Colour Test, using the Trivector and Ellipse subtests. The results demonstrated impaired color perception in patients with schizophrenia, especially in those receiving typical antipsychotics, but these deficits were subtle and not generalized to all parameters. Our findings are consistent with the known neurophysiology of the retina and visual pathways, and with the effects of dopamine blocking medications, but the results should be carefully interpreted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)162-170
Number of pages9
JournalSchizophrenia Research
StatePublished - Feb 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


  • Antipsychotics
  • Cambridge Colour Test
  • Color vision
  • Psychiatry
  • Schizophrenia


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