Positive schizotypy and negative schizotypy are associated with differential patterns of episodic memory impairment

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Cognitive impairment is a hallmark of schizophrenia; however, studies have not comprehensively examined such impairments in non-clinically ascertained schizotypic young adults. The present study employed a series of measures to assess episodic memory in high positive schizotypy, high negative schizotypy, and comparison groups (each group n = 25). Consistent with diminished cognitive functioning seen in negative symptom schizophrenia, the negative schizotypy group exhibited deficits on free recall, recognition, and source memory tasks. The positive schizotypy group did not demonstrate deficits on the above mentioned tasks. However, in contrast to the other groups, the positive schizotypy group showed an unexpected set-size effect on the cued-recall task. Set-size effect, which refers to the finding that words that have smaller networks of associates tend to have a memory advantage, is usually found in associative-cuing, but not cued-recall, tasks. The finding for the positive schizotypy group is consistent with heightened spreading activation and reduced executive control suggested to underlie psychotic symptoms. The findings support a multidimensional model of schizotypy and schizophrenia, and suggest that positive and negative schizotypy involve differential patterns of cognitive impairment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-40
Number of pages6
JournalSchizophrenia Research: Cognition
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016


  • Cognition
  • Episodic memory
  • Schizophrenia
  • Schizotypy
  • Semantic network

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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