Perceptually or conceptually driven recognition: On the specificities of the memory deficit in schizophrenia


  • Guillaume Fabrice
  • Thomas Emilie
  • Faget Catherine
  • Richieri Raphaëlle
  • Lançon Christophe

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This study explored the effects of exemplar changes on visual object recognition in patients with schizophrenia and paired control subjects. The experimental design was derived from the process-dissociation procedure (PDP: Jacoby, 1991). The objects presented at test could be the same exemplar as at study (physically identical picture), a different exemplar of the same object category, or a new, non-studied object. In the inclusion task, participants had to generalize their recognition to the conceptual level by accepting both different and identical exemplars as old. In the exclusion task, on the other hand, they had to accept only the same exemplars of the studied objects as old. Overall, performance was better on the inclusion task than on the exclusion task; schizophrenia patients performed worse than controls on the inclusion task but not the exclusion task, misrecognizing different exemplars more often than healthy controls. The present findings reveal that both recollection and familiarity are impaired in patients with schizophrenia, who present a relational, conceptually driven memory deficit. This deficit does not allow them to recognize an object as a member of a specific category independently of perceptual variations. This retrieval mode influences their subjective awareness of items' familiarity, and should be considered as a target for remediation. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

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