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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/70

Title: Lexical network size and connectivity in schizophrenia: effects on priming and cued recall
Authors: Moelter, Stephen T.
Keywords: Recollection (Psychology);Schizophrenia -- Physiological aspects;Schizophrenics -- Language;Psychology
Issue Date: 7-Nov-2002
Publisher: Drexel University
Abstract: Aberrant semantic associative connectivity may be an underlying characteristic of the cognitive and symptom profile of schizophrenia. Words of varying network size (small or large) and connectivity (high or low) were used in lexical decision and cued recall tasks to test the hypothesis that word processing speed and recall in schizophrenia are modulated by increased activation of associative connectivity. Patients with schizophrenia and controls exhibited increased priming and higher probability of recall when words maintained greater levels of associative connectivity; however, controls demonstrated greatest priming and highest recall when network size was small, while patients exhibited increased priming and better recall when network size was large. These results suggest that the behavioral effects of increased associative activation depend on the size of the activated lexical network. Over-activation of associative networks may work to the patient's "advantage" on tests of priming and cued recall when the activated network is large. When the activated network is small, however, over-activation may make appropriate response selection in patients more difficult, potentially taxing attentional resources. Such distinctions have relevance to cognitive models of schizophrenia that attempt to reconcile accounts of increased automatic associate bias with reduction of verbal working memory and context maintenance.
URI: http://dspace.library.drexel.edu/handle/1860/70
Appears in Collections:Drexel Theses and Dissertations

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