Procedural Memory Predicts Social Skills in Persons With Schizophrenia
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.