Schizophrenia patients exhibit deficits in various stages of visual information processing. Despite recent informative efforts to examine visual processing in schizophrenia with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), much remains unknown about the basic function, structure, and organization of key early visual processing areas in schizophrenia. This study examined magnitude and topography of regional brain activity in three early visual processing areas: early retinotopically organized areas (V1-V4), motion-sensitive areas (human area MT, hMT+), and object-recognition areas (lateral occipital complex, LO). Using visual stimuli that are known to preferentially activate each respective region, we compared responses in these areas in 22 schizophrenia patients and 19 normal controls. Activity in all three regions was of similar amplitude in schizophrenia patients and normal controls. Activity in retinotopically organized areas and hMT+ showed good spatial overlap between groups. However, activation of LO was more widely distributed in patients compared with normal controls. The findings of abnormal spatial organization of LO in schizophrenia patients may converge with behavioral evidence of deficits in schizophrenia patients for object-recognition tasks that are believed to be mediated by LO activity. © 2008 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.