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Neuropsychology. 2008 Jan;22(1):100-9. doi: 10.1037/0894-4105.22.1.100.

Selective corticostriatal dysfunction in schizophrenia: examination of motor and cognitive skill learning.

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Department of Psychology, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, USA.

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  • Neuropsychology. 2008 May;22(3):418.


It has been suggested that patients with schizophrenia have corticostriatal circuit dysfunction (Carlsson & Carlsson, 1990). Skill learning is thought to rely on corticostriatal circuitry and different types of skill learning may be related to separable corticostriatal loops (Grafton, Hazeltine, & Ivry, 1995; Poldrack, Prabhakaran, Seger, & Gabrieli, 1999). The authors examined motor (Serial Reaction Time task, SRT) and cognitive (Probabilistic Classification task, PCT) skill learning in patients with schizophrenia and normal controls. Development of automaticity was examined, using a dual task paradigm, across three training sessions. Patients with schizophrenia were impaired at learning on the PCT compared to controls. Performance gains of controls occurred within the first session, whereas patients only improved gradually and never reached the performance level of controls. In contrast, patients were not impaired at learning on the SRT relative to controls, suggesting that patients with schizophrenia may have dysfunction in a specific corticostriatal subcircuit.

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