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July 31, 2007
Researcher Simulates Symptoms of Schizophrenia In People Without The Disorder
Read more... Schizophrenia Research Journal Articles
University of Missouri-Columbia researchers haven attempted to simulate a symptom of schizophrenia in people who don't have the illness, in hopes of better understanding the disorder and its impact. They simulated - the inability to speak clearly or respond to questions in a precise manner - which is considered a common cognitive deficit in those with schizophrenia.
"This study is about working with people who are not schizophrenic and observing whether, under experimental conditions, we could make them act like people with schizophrenia," said John Kerns, assistant professor of clinical psychology in the College of Arts and Science. "In the lab, we challenged their working memory ability as they spoke and simulated deficits found within people with schizophrenia."
He found that by putting rigorous demands on the working memory – which is the temporary storing of information that we hold readily available to use, like memorizing someone’s phone number when we don’t have a piece of paper and need to call them right back – communication disturbances, or poor communication skills occurred.
The study also revealed that an even greater degree of speech disorganization happens when other mental processing requirements are combined with working memory stress.
The current study "Experimental Manipulation of Cognitive Control Processes Causes an Increase in Communication Disturbances in Healthy Volunteers" [article abstract] appears in the July 2007 issue of Psychological Medicine.
Kerns' previous study "Verbal Communication Impairments and Cognitive Control Components in People with Schizophrenia" was published in the May 2007 issue of the Journal of Abnormal Psychology.
Source: University of Missouri-Columbia
Posted by Michelle Roberts at July 31, 2007 11:07 AM
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