Alogia and formal thought disorder: Differential patterns of verbal fluency task performance

Anna R. Docherty, Howard Berenbaum, John G. Kerns

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: There is evidence that alogia and formal thought disorder (FTD), two prominent speech symptoms in schizophrenia, are associated with different patterns of verbal fluency task deficits. Verbal fluency is thought to involve several cognitive mechanisms, including controlled retrieval, semantic memory, and context processing. Methods: The current research examined whether alogia and FTD were associated with different patterns of verbal fluency performance and whether these patterns of verbal fluency performance would implicate deficits in controlled retrieval, semantic memory, or context processing. In the current research, 34 people with schizophrenia completed letter and category fluency tasks and detailed ratings of alogia and FTD symptoms were made from typed transcripts. Results: Overall, alogia was associated with increased response latency between each word on the category fluency task, suggesting an association between alogia and poor controlled retrieval. In contrast, FTD was associated with a decreased proportion of semantically-related words on letter fluency, suggesting an association between FTD and poor context processing. Conclusions: Alogia and FTD appear to be associated with unique patterns of fluency performance, implicating separate cognitive mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1352-1357
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Psychiatric Research
Volume45
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2011

Keywords

  • Alogia
  • Category
  • Formal thought disorder
  • Language
  • Letter
  • Negative symptoms
  • Retrieval
  • Schizophrenia
  • Semantic memory
  • Speech
  • Verbal fluency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

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