Reduced levels of specific autobiographical memories in schizophrenia

University of Strasbourg, Strasburg, Alsace, France
Psychiatry Research (Impact Factor: 2.68). 02/2003; 117(1):35-45. DOI: 10.1016/S0920-9964(03)81027-7
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Autobiographical memory is intrinsically related to the self and personal identity. This study investigated whether both personal episodic memory and semantic memory are impaired in schizophrenia, a disease characterized by an abnormal personal identity. Personal episodic memory and personal semantic memory were investigated in 24 patients with schizophrenia and 24 normal subjects using an autobiographical fluency task and an autobiographical memory inquiry. Autobiographical memory scores and the proportion of specific memories were lower in patients with schizophrenia than in normal subjects. The deficit of personal episodic and semantic memory, as assessed by the autobiographical memory inquiry and the autobiographical fluency task, respectively, was most apparent after the onset of clinical symptoms. Schizophrenia is associated with an impairment of both personal episodic and semantic memory and with a reduction of specific autobiographical memories. Those impairments are consistent with the existence of an abnormal personal identity in patients with schizophrenia.

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