Prospective memory (PM) refers to the ability to execute a delayed intention and is different from retrospective memory (RM) in its nature and underlying mechanism (e.g., intention formation, maintenance, detection of PM cue and intention execution). Although preliminary studies have found PM impairment in patients with schizophrenia, the nature and magnitude of this problem in this clinical group is not yet fully known. The current study aimed to further clarify the nature of this impairment in schizophrenia. Fifty-four patients with schizophrenia and fifty-four healthy volunteers matched on demographic variables, IQ and executive functions took part in the study. Time-, event-, and activity-based PM tasks and a set of neurocognitive tests were administered to the participants. Results showed that patients with schizophrenia performed significantly worse on all sub-types of PM tasks, even after controlling for neurocognitive functions such as working memory, verbal memory, visual memory, and executive function. These findings suggest PM deficit is a primary deficit rather than a secondary consequence of neurocognitive impairments in schizophrenia. Analysis found that PM deficits may be mainly due to the impairment of the cue detection and intention retrieval stage. © 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
- Neurocognitive function, Cue detection
- Prospective memory
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Biological Psychiatry