Emotion affects associative memory in first-episode schizophrenia patients


Emotional modulation and alterations of associative memory are significantly worse in first-episode schizophrenia (FES) patients, according to Dr. David Luck and his associates.

In a functional MRI study, FES patients performed worse than did a control group in a standardized card memorization test. Testing consisted of both neutral and emotional components based on the contents of each card memorized. FES patients had worse scores on the emotional component of the test than on the neutral components, while controls had better scores on the emotional component than the neutral component.

Analysis showed that the deficits the FES patients experienced were due to decreased activation and disturbed connectivity in the mnemonic and limbic regions.

“These dysfunctions may be targets for new therapeutic interventions, such as cognitive remediation, known to improve cognitive deficits in schizophrenia,” the investigators concluded.

Find the study in Schizophrenia Research: Cognition (doi: 10.1016/j.scog.2015.11.004).