A pen-and-paper human analogue of a monkey prefrontal cortex activation task: spatial working memory in patients with schizophrenia

Richard S.E. Keefe, Sonia E. Lees Roitman, Philip D. Harvey, Cynthia S. Blum, Rachel L. DuPre, Denise M. Prieto, Michael Davidson, Kenneth L. Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

152 Scopus citations


In order to pursue the hypothesis that the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is a source of cognitive deficit in schizophrenia, we developed an easily administered pen-and-paper human analogue of a visuospatial working memory task that in non-human primates activates the neurons of Walker area 46 (Goldman-Rakic, 1987). Compared to normal controls, schizophrenic patients made significantly greater errors in identifying where a visuospatial stimulus had been presented to them 30 and 60 seconds earlier, and these differences were significantly greater than in an immediate recall condition. These data suggest that schizophrenic patients have visuospatial working memory deficits that are sensitive to pen-and-paper versions of the tasks that activate the Walker area 46 in non-human primates. The availability of an easily administered test that may be associated with the functioning of the prefrontal cortex may enable more specific assessment of this brain region in humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-33
Number of pages9
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 1995
Externally publishedYes



  • (Schizophrenia)
  • Activation task
  • Prefrontal cortex
  • Spatial working memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Neurology
  • Psychology(all)

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