Neuropsychology of reward learning and negative symptoms in schizophrenia

Nestor PG, Choate V, Niznikiewicz M, Levitt JJ, Shenton ME, McCarley RW

Schizophr. Res. 2014 Nov;159(2-3):506-8

PMID: 25261881


We used the Iowa Gambling Test (IGT) to examine the relationship of reward learning to both neuropsychological functioning and symptom formation in 65 individuals with schizophrenia. Results indicated that compared to controls, participants with schizophrenia showed significantly reduced reward learning, which in turn correlated with reduced intelligence, memory and executive function, and negative symptoms. The current findings suggested that a disease-related disturbance in reward learning may underlie both cognitive and motivation deficits, as expressed by neuropsychological impairment and negative symptoms in schizophrenia.