The role of retrieval inhibition in the associative memory impairment of schizophrenia

AhnAllen CG, Nestor PG, McCarley RW, Shenton ME

Psychiatry Res 2007 Feb;150(1):43-50

PMID: 17188366


To examine retrieval-induced forgetting (RIF) in schizophrenia, subjects studied category-exemplar words taken from either strong or weak categories, and then practiced retrieval by completing category word-stems on half of the word pairs. Patients had reduced recall and recognition, but showed the expected RIF effect of better recall of unpracticed items from unpracticed categories than for unpracticed items from practiced categories. By contrast, patients and controls showed differing RIF for recognition as a function of categorical dominance: whereas controls showed RIF only for dominant category exemplar word pairs, patients showed RIF for both dominant and weak categories. Different patterns of baseline practiced retrieval for weak associate pairs in schizophrenia may explain this finding. The results failed to support faulty RIF in the associative memory impairment of schizophrenia.