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Stimuli may have little impact on the deficit of visual working memory accuracy in first-episode schizophrenia

Authors She S, Zhang B, Mi L, Li H, Kuang Q, Bi T, Zheng Y

Received 25 September 2018

Accepted for publication 17 January 2019

Published 18 February 2019 Volume 2019:15 Pages 481—489

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S188645

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Andrew Yee

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Jun Chen


Shenglin She,1,* Bei Zhang,1,* Lin Mi,1 Haijing Li,1 Qijie Kuang,1 Taiyong Bi,2 Yingjun Zheng1

1Department of Psychiatry, The Affiliated Brain Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University (Guangzhou Huiai Hospital), National Clinical Research Center on Mental Disorders (Changsha), Guangzhou 510370, China; 2School of Management, Zunyi Medical University, Guizhou 563000, China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Purpose: Working memory (WM) deficits have been observed in people with schizophrenia (SZ) and are considered a core cognitive dysfunction in these patients. However, little is known about how stimuli and memory load influence visual WM deficits.
Patients and methods: In the present study, we adopted a match-to-sample task to examine the visual WM in 18 first-episode patients with SZ and 18 healthy controls (HCs). Faces and houses were used as the stimuli, and there were two levels of memory load – one item and two items; the average accuracy (ACC) and reaction time were calculated for each condition. The Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale and the Personal and Social Performance scale were used to assess the psychiatric symptoms and social function, respectively.
Results: The results showed equivalent levels of WM deficit when using face and house stimuli. Moreover, the WM deficits were not related to the duration of illness, medication, or SZ symptoms.
Conclusion: These results demonstrate that stimuli may have little impact on ACC in WM tasks in people with SZ. In addition, the memory load may have little impact on WM ACC when the load is relatively low.

Keywords: visual working memory, first-episode schizophrenia, face perception, match-to-sample, memory load, working memory deficit


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