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Schizophr Res. 2009 May;110(1-3):156-64. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2009.01.012. Epub 2009 Mar 9.

Risk/reward decision-making in schizophrenia: a preliminary examination of the influence of tobacco smoking and relationship to Wisconsin Card Sorting Task performance.

Author information

1
Division of Substance Abuse, Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, Connecticut Mental Health Center, 2 Church Street South, Suite 215, New Haven, CT, United States. sarah.yip@yale.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Individuals with schizophrenia show deficits in cognitive functioning, as evidenced by deficits on neurocognitive tasks such as the Wisconsin Card Sorting Task (WCST). Studies of risk/reward decision-making in individuals with schizophrenia have yielded mixed results, and few studies have examined systematically the relationship between these domains and their relationship with clinical factors.

METHOD:

Thirty-two smokers with schizophrenia, ten non-smokers with schizophrenia, nine non-psychiatric non-smokers and ten non-psychiatric smokers were administered computerized versions of the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) and the WCST. Smokers were allowed to smoke adlibitum during designated breaks in order to prevent deprivation.

RESULTS:

Subjects with schizophrenia performed significantly worse than non-psychiatric controls on both the IGT and the WCST, and performance on these tasks was significantly correlated across subject groups. Among women with schizophrenia, smokers performed significantly better than non-smokers on the IGT.

CONCLUSIONS:

Individuals with schizophrenia perform worse than controls on the IGT, suggesting impairments in risk/reward decision-making. Correlations between IGT and WCST performance suggest a shared element underlying task performance, such as a deficit in set-shifting or perseverance. Further research is needed to establish the relationship between cigarette smoking and IGT performance in schizophrenia.

PMID:
19269138
PMCID:
PMC2817985
DOI:
10.1016/j.schres.2009.01.012
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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