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Arch Clin Neuropsychol. 2013 May;28(3):254-61. doi: 10.1093/arclin/act018. Epub 2013 Mar 28.

The influence of semantic processing on odor identification ability in schizophrenia.

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Neuropsychiatry Section, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.


Despite the well-documented observation of odor identification deficits in schizophrenia, less is known about where the disruption in the process of correctly identifying an odor occurs. This study aimed to determine the potential moderating effects of semantic processing on the observed olfactory dysfunction in schizophrenia. Schizophrenia patients and healthy comparison subjects completed two versions of the University of Pennsylvania Smell Identification Test (UPSIT): an uncued free-response version and the standard multiple-choice paradigm, as well as three semantic measures: The Boston Naming Test, Animal Naming, and Pyramids and Palm Tree Test. Schizophrenia patients yielded significantly lower scores than the comparison group on the standard UPSIT and on semantic measures. No relationship was observed between olfactory and semantic task performance in patients. These data suggest that odor identification deficits may not be primarily due to semantic processing deficits in schizophrenia.

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