Use of the process dissociation procedure to study the contextual effects on face recognition in schizophrenia: familiarity, associative recollection and discriminative recollection.


  • Guillaume Fabrice
  • Guillem François
  • Tiberghien Guy
  • Martin Flavie
  • Ganeva Emilia
  • Germain Martine
  • Pampoulova Tania
  • Stip Emmanuel
  • Lalonde Pierre

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Contextual effects were explored in schizophrenia patients and paired comparison subjects during a long-term face recognition task. The objective was to investigate the contextual effects on face recognition by manipulating, in the same experiment, the perceptual context of the face (intrinsic vs. extrinsic) and the task context (inclusion vs. exclusion instructions). The situation was derived from the Jacoby's [Jacoby, L.L., 1991. A process dissociation framework: separating automatic from intentional uses of memory. Journal of Memory and Language 30, 513-541] process dissociation procedure. The results showed that schizophrenia patients (N=20) presented lower performances than healthy controls (N=20) in the inclusion but not in the exclusion task. This observation emphasizes the heterogeneity of recollection and suggests that the memory impairment in schizophrenia reflects an imbalance between two mechanisms. The first is a deficit in "associative recollection", i.e., the failure to use efficiently associative information. The other is an enhanced "discriminative recollection" that impedes their capacity to process information separately from its perceptual context. In addition, correlation with symptoms suggest that the former is expressed in the loosening of associations characteristic of disorganization symptoms, whereas the latter reflects the lack of flexibility or the contextualization bias related to psychotic symptoms, i.e., delusions and hallucinations.

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