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Extreme elemental processing in a high schizotypy population: relation to cognitive deficits

Haddon, Josephine Elizabeth, George, David N., Grayson, Lois, McGowan, Christopher, Honey, Robert Colin ORCID: and Killcross, Simon 2014. Extreme elemental processing in a high schizotypy population: relation to cognitive deficits. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology 67 (5) , pp. 918-935. 10.1080/17470218.2013.838281

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The cognitive deficits observed in schizophrenia have been characterized as a failure to utilize task-setting information to guide behaviour, especially in situations in which there is response conflict. Recently, we have provided support for this account; high schizotypy individuals demonstrated inferior biconditional discrimination performance compared to low scorers, but were not impaired on a simple discrimination that did not require the use of task-setting cues. These results may, however, also be explained by the way in which individuals with high schizotypy process stimulus compounds. Here, we examine the initial approaches to solving biconditional and control discrimination tasks of participants with high and low schizotypy scores. In particular, we focus on performance during the first block of training trials to capture processing style before the acquisition of the discrimination tasks. Participants scoring highly on the introvertive anhedonia subscale (which has been allied to the negative and cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia) demonstrated better biconditional performance during the first block of training trials than did low-schizotypy individuals, consistent with a highly elemental approach to stimulus processing. Subsequent recognition tests confirmed this analysis demonstrating that the pattern of performance observed in participants with high schizotypy was associated with a failure to discriminate conjunctions of items that had been seen before from those that had not. These results suggest that the negative/cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia may reflect an extreme bias towards elemental, as opposed to configural, processing of stimulus conjunctions.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (CNGG)
Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute (NMHRI)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Uncontrolled Keywords: Elemental vs. configural, Task setting, Schizotypy, Schizophrenia, Conditional discrimination, Recognition test, Negative symptoms
Additional Information: Online publication date: 27 November 2013.
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 1747-0218
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2022 08:35

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