Spatial and object working memory impairments in schizophrenia patients: a Bayesian item-response theory analysis

Coleman MJ, Cook S, Matthysse S, Barnard J, Lo Y, Levy DL, Rubin DB, Holzman PS

J Abnorm Psychol 2002 Aug;111(3):425-35

PMID: 12150418


This study reports evidence that schizophrenia patients are significantly impaired in both spatial and object (shape) working memory. A 3-s delay between exposure and recall of targets was used and Bayesian item-response theory was applied to compensate for the tasks’ differential difficulty while simultaneously taking account of missing data from participant attrition. Weaker evidence was found that in schizophrenia both domains are equally impaired on average, that spatial and object working memory appear to be more highly correlated with each other in the schizophrenia population than in the normal population, and that schizophrenia patients show greater variability in spatial than object working memory performance.