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J Abnorm Psychol. 2005 Nov;114(4):599-611.

Working memory impairments in schizophrenia: a meta-analysis.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37240, USA.


Working memory (WM) deficit is a cardinal cognitive symptom of schizophrenia, but the differences among the tasks and measures used to assess WM make it difficult to compare across studies. The authors conducted a meta-analytic review to address 3 major questions: (a) Do patients with schizophrenia show WM deficits across diverse methodology; (b) Is WM deficit supramodal; and (c) Does the WM deficit worsen with longer delays? The results indicate that significant WM deficit was present in schizophrenia patients in all modalities examined. Increasing delay beyond 1 s did not influence the performance difference between schizophrenia patients and healthy control participants in WM. These results suggest that WM deficit in schizophrenia is modality independent and that encoding and/or early part of maintenance may be problematic.

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