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Am J Psychiatry. 2003 Oct;160(10):1881-3.

Are impairments of action monitoring and executive control true dissociative dysfunctions in patients with schizophrenia?

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine, CA 94305-5550, USA. jford@stanford.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Impaired self-monitoring is considered a critical deficit of schizophrenia. The authors asked whether this is a specific and isolable impairment or is part of a global disturbance of cognitive and attentional functions.

METHOD:

Internal monitoring of erroneous actions, as well as three components of attentional control (conflict resolution, set switching, and preparatory attention) were assessed during performance of a single task by eight high-functioning patients with schizophrenia and eight comparison subjects.

RESULTS:

The patients exhibited no significant dysfunction of attentional control during task performance. In contrast, their ability to correct errors without external feedback and, by inference, to self-monitor their actions was markedly compromised.

CONCLUSIONS:

This finding suggests that dysfunction of self-monitoring in schizophrenia does not necessarily reflect a general decline in cognitive function but is evidence of disproportionately pronounced impairment of action monitoring, which may be mediated by a distinct subsystem within the brain's executive attention networks.

PMID:
14514505
DOI:
10.1176/appi.ajp.160.10.1881
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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