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Int J Psychophysiol. 1999 Dec;34(3):313-22.

Hemispheric asymmetry of spatial working memory deficit in schizophrenia.

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Department of Psychology and Institute for Neuroscience, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208, USA.


Spatial working memory function was assessed in schizophrenia patients, hypothetically 'psychosis-prone' individuals who report unusual perceptual experiences and normal control subjects with an oculomotor delayed response task. Past studies point to the important role of dorsolateral prefrontal system in spatial working memory deficits of schizophrenia patients. In order to better understand the processes precipitating in working memory deficit, two types of working memory errors were examined: never-corrected vs. immediately-corrected errors. In schizophrenia patients, the loss of spatial representation in working memory, as captured by the presence of never-corrected errors, was much more severe when the target was presented in the right visual hemifield than when the target was presented in the left visual field. The same pattern was observed in healthy, psychometrically ascertained 'psychosis-prone' subjects. Therefore, the observed asymmetry of spatial working memory deficit seems unlikely to be a mere side-effect of medication or hospitalization. Normal control subjects did not show hemispheric asymmetry in error patterns. These results suggest that the loss of spatial representation during a delay period may be more severe in the left hemisphere in patients with schizophrenia and in 'psychosis-prone' individuals.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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