Integration of linguistic ideas in schizophrenics

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S. D. Koh and R. A. Peterson (1978) found that requiring semantic encoding at acquisition facilitated recall for schizophrenics in the same way that it does for normals. It was hypothesized that more complex forms of semantic organization would reveal a deficit in schizophrenics, but not for all subtypes. The paradigm used, developed by J. D. Bransford and J. J. Franks (1971), involves an incidental sentence recognition task in which Ss are presented interrelated parts of a complex idea in acquisition and subsequently tested for their memory of new and old (previously seen) instances of the idea. In the present study, with 56 hospitalized male veterans and 14 college students, normals' and nonpsychotics' patterns of recognition responses reflected the organization of this complex idea, even when they had actually never seen the specific test sentences. All schizophrenics were found to be capable of distinguishing sentences that violated the relations within the complex ideas from those that did not, but only the good premorbid acute patients' responses reflected the integration of part ideas. Poor premorbid acute patients showed an intermediate level of integrating semantic information, and chronic patients were unable to use the interrelations within ideas to organize their memories. (1½ p ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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