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J Nerv Ment Dis. 2005 Dec;193(12):803-8.

Are the cognitive deficits associated with impaired insight in schizophrenia specific to executive task performance?

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Department of Psychology, Trinity College Dublin, Trinity Centre, St. James's Hospital, Dublin 8, Ireland.


Although impaired insight in schizophrenia has been associated with deficits in executive task performance, the relationship remains unclear. We aimed to clarify this relationship by fractionating executive functioning into the theoretically derived functions of inhibition, working memory, set shifting, and sustained attention. We compared the performance of patients showing impaired insight, patients showing good insight, and a matched control group on measures of each of these executive functions, along with measures of current cognitive functioning and memory. We found that while patients with impaired insight performed significantly below those with good insight on our working memory task, they also performed poorly on measures of general cognitive functioning and memory. We conclude that while impaired insight does appear to be associated with executive deficits, this association may not be specific but may instead relate to cognitive deficits more generally.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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