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Percept Mot Skills. 1997 Dec;85(3 Pt 1):995-1002.

Computer-aided cognitive rehabilitation: possible application to the attentional deficit of schizophrenia, a report of negative results.

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  • 1Psychology Department, South Australian Mental Health Service-Glenside, Eastwood, Australia.


The cognitive deficits associated with schizophrenia commonly include impairment in attention, which may contribute to difficulties with learning, memory, and executive function. This study evaluated the effectiveness of computer-aided training of attentional skills in schizophrenia. Two groups of schizophrenic subjects (9 men and 1 woman) were matched for age, estimated premorbid IQ, and positive and negative symptom scores. Both groups were assessed using a battery of attentional tests. Subjects then received either six 1-hr. computer-aided cognitive rehabilitation sessions (experimental condition) or six sessions of graphics-based computer games (control condition). Both groups were reassessed with attentional measures. There was significant improvement on only one test, a letter-cancellation task. This improvement was evident in both groups suggesting that this was a practise effect. Apart from the letter-cancellation test, subjects undertaking the computer-aided rehabilitation treatment did not show significant improvement on any attentional tasks.

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