Consciousness in schizophrenia: A metacognitive approach to semantic memory

Consciousness and Cognition 10 (4):473-484 (2001)
Abstract
Recent studies have shown that schizophrenia may be a disease affecting the states of consciousness. The present study is aimed at investigating metamemory, i.e., the knowledge about one's own memory capabilities, in patients with schizophrenia. The accuracy of the Confidence level (CL) in the correctness of the answers provided during a recall phase, and the predictability of the Feeling of Knowing (FOK) when recall fails were measured using a task consisting of general information questions and assessing semantic memory. Nineteen outpatients were paired with 19 control subjects with respect to age, sex, and education. Results showed that patients with schizophrenia exhibited an impaired semantic memory. CL ratings as well as CL and FOK accuracy were not significantly different in the schizophrenic and the control groups. However, FOK ratings were significantly reduced for the patient group, and discordant FOK judgments were also observed more frequently. Such results suggest that FOK judgments are impaired in patients with schizophrenia, which confirms that schizophrenia is an illness characterized by an impaired conscious awareness of one's own knowledge
Keywords *Metacognition  *Schizophrenia  *Semantic Memory
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