Familiarity and recollection processes in patients with recent-onset schizophrenia and their unaffected parents.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Psychiatry Res, Volume 175, Issue 1-2, p.15-21 (2010)


Adult, Analysis of Variance, Association Learning, Female, Humans, Intelligence Tests, Male, Mental Recall, Middle Aged, Neuropsychological Tests, Parents, Psychiatric Status Rating Scales, Reading, Recognition (Psychology), Schizophrenia, Schizophrenic Psychology, Verbal Learning, Young Adult


<p>Episodic memory deficits are present in patients with schizophrenia (SZ) and their unaffected relatives and could be considered as a cognitive indicator of genetic vulnerability to SZ. The present study, involving patients with SZ as well as their parents, used experimental tasks specifically designed to disentangle the contribution of familiarity and recollection processes to episodic memory. The performance of patients with SZ (n=26) and their unaffected parents (n=35) was compared with that of healthy control groups matched on socio-demographic variables (controls of patients, n=26; controls of parents, n=35) on two memory tasks assessing recollection and familiarity. The first task was designed to investigate item recognition and memory for item-spatial context associations whereas the second targeted item-item associations. The results revealed an overall episodic memory deficit in patients with SZ, encompassing both familiarity and recollection, while unaffected parents showed a dysfunction restricted to the recollection process. Our study highlights differences and similarities in the source of the episodic memory deficit found in patients with SZ and their unaffected parents, and it suggests that recollection could act as a cognitive endophenotype of SZ. The results also suggest that use of experimental tasks represents a promising method in the search of cognitive endophenotypes in SZ.</p>

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