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Schizophr Res. 1996 Dec 15;22(3):241-8.

Implicit and explicit associative memory in patients with schizophrenia.

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Centre Hospitalier General Lagny-Marne la vallée, France.


Control and Schizophrenic subjects performed memory tests under conditions in which performance is influenced by newly acquired information about associations between pairs of normatively unrelated words (a 'context' word and a target word). In Experiment 1, the associative memory test was implicit. Control and schizophrenic subjects reached the same level of performance and, more importantly, both groups used contextual information to the same extent. In Experiment 2, subjects were submitted to an explicit and an implicit memory test in succession. Overall performance of schizophrenic patients was impaired in the explicit memory test. But, as in Experiment 1, the two groups did not differ in the overall level of implicit memory, and context improved performance to the same extent in both tests. These results run counter to the widespread idea that schizophrenic patients exhibit a deficit in processing all types of contexts, and suggest that the deficit may be limited to the processing of what Baddeley (1982) calls 'interactive' context.

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