Procedural Memory Predicts Social Skills in Persons With Schizophrenia

Department of Neuropsychiatry, Graduate School of Medicine, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.
Journal of Nervous & Mental Disease (Impact Factor: 1.69). 09/2006; 194(8):625-7. DOI: 10.1097/01.nmd.0000231429.40421.84
Source: PubMed


Despite a growing number of studies that have investigated the relationship between neurocognition and psychosocial outcome in schizophrenia, no studies have looked at the relationship between procedural memory and social skills measures in schizophrenia. The goal of this study was to investigate whether procedural memory, often preserved in schizophrenia, could predict nonverbal social skills in chronic patients with schizophrenia. Fourteen outpatients with schizophrenia participated in our study. Procedural memory was evaluated using the Mirror Reading Test, and nonverbal and verbal social skills were evaluated using a structured role play test. As predicted, there was a significant positive correlation between the learning index of the Mirror Reading Test and nonverbal skills (Spearman rho=0.559, p = 0.038), but not for verbal communication skills or processing skills. Although preliminary, these results provide the first evidence of an association between procedural memory and nonverbal social skills in patients with schizophrenia.

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    • "Moreover, we have demonstrated these changes in lipid metabolism within the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, which has well established roles in cognition (Levy and Goldman-Rakic, 1999; Perlstein et al., 2001; Yoon et al., 2008). Procedural cognitive deficits in schizophrenia have been shown to predict the capacity for non-verbal social functioning (Kawakubo et al., 2006). It is, therefore, significant that analogous procedural cognitive deficits are displayed by APOE−/− mice (Champagne et al., 2002). "
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    Frontiers in Psychiatry 07/2010; 1:19. DOI:10.3389/fpsyt.2010.00019
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction: Deficient procedural learning (PL) and lack of striato-thalamic-cortical activity in chronic schizophrenia patients on typical antipsychotics, compared to healthy people, has been previously demonstrated. There is also evidence of striatal dysfunctioning with normal or near-normal performance in schizophrenia patients treated mostly or predominantly with atypical antipsychotics. The purpose of this study was to examine procedural learning and its neural correlates, as well as the effect of ziprasidone monotherapy on neural responses using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and a relatively simple non-verbal, sequence-learning task in a longitudinal design in first-episode patients with schizophrenia. Methods: A cohort of patients who were experiencing their first psychotic episode and had no or minimum exposure to antipsychotic medication underwent blood oxygenation level-dependent fMRI during a blocked, periodic procedural learning task at baseline (pretreatment) and again after six-week ziprasidone monotherapy. Behavioral data were recorded online. Results: We found 1) procedural learning in patients, but with a different pattern to that normally seen in healthy people, and abnormal, rather than absent, activity in the striatal region in patients at baseline; and 2) changes towards normalization of the procedural learning pattern and increased neural activity in a number of regions, including cingulate gyrus, caudate nucleus, thalamus and temporal lobe, following ziprasidone monotherapy. Conclusions: First-episode schizophrenia patients are characterized by aberrant, rather than absent, procedural learning and brain activity, which change towards normalization with six-week ziprasidone monotherapy.
    Clinical Schizophrenia & Related Psychoses 01/2008; 1(4):317-327. DOI:10.3371/CSRP.1.4.3
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    ABSTRACT: Previous studies investigating feedback-driven reinforcement learning in patients with schizophrenia have provided mixed results. In this study, we explored the clinical predictors of reward and punishment learning using a probabilistic classification learning task. Patients with schizophrenia (n=40) performed similarly to healthy controls (n=30) on the classification learning task. However, more severe negative and general symptoms were associated with lower reward-learning performance, whereas poorer general psychosocial functioning was correlated with both lower reward- and punishment-learning performances. Multiple linear regression analyses indicated that general psychosocial functioning was the only significant predictor of reinforcement learning performance when education, antipsychotic dose, and positive, negative and general symptoms were included in the analysis. These results suggest a close relationship between reinforcement learning and general psychosocial functioning in schizophrenia.
    Schizophrenia Research 04/2011; 127(1-3):131-6. DOI:10.1016/j.schres.2010.07.028 · 3.92 Impact Factor
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