Context Processing in Schizotypal Personality Disorder: Evidence of Specificity of Impairment to the Schizophrenia Spectrum

Margaret M. McClure, Deanna M. Barch, Janine D. Flory, Philip D. Harvey, Larry J. Siever

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

37 Scopus citations

Abstract

Working memory abnormalities, which are particularly pronounced on context processing tasks, appear relatively specific to schizophrenia spectrum illnesses compared with other psychotic disorders. However, the specificity of context processing deficits to schizotypal personality disorder (SPD), a prototype of schizophrenia, has not been studied. The authors administered 3 versions of the modified AX Continuous Performance Test and an N-back working memory test to 63 individuals with SPD and 25 with other personality disorders, as well as 42 healthy controls. For the AX Continuous Performance Test standard and degraded versions, there was a significant Trial Type × Delay × Group interaction, as SPDs made significantly more errors reflecting poor maintenance of context and fewer errors reflecting good maintenance of context. SPDs also demonstrated poor performance on the N-back, especially at the 2-back condition. Context processing errors and N-back accuracy scores were related to disorganization symptoms. These findings, which are quite similar to those previously reported in patients with schizophrenia, suggest that context processing deficits are specific to the schizophrenia spectrum and are not a reflection of overall psychopathology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)342-354
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of abnormal psychology
Volume117
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2008

Keywords

  • cognition
  • context processing
  • personality disorders
  • schizophrenia spectrum
  • schizotypal personality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Psychology(all)

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