The remediation effects of working memory training in schizophrenia patients with prominent negative symptoms

Xu Li, Min Yi Chu, Qin Yu Lv, Hui xin Hu, Zhi Li, Zheng Hui Yi, Jin Hong Wang, Jian Ye Zhang, Simon SY Lui, Eric FC Cheung, Ho Keung David Shum, Raymond CK Chan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Negative symptoms, particularly amotivation and anhedonia, are important predictors of poor functional outcome in patients with schizophrenia. There has been interest in the efficacy and mechanism of non-pharmacological interventions to alleviate these symptoms. The present study aimed to examine the remediation effect of working memory (WM) training in patients with schizophrenia with prominent negative symptoms. Methods: Thirty-one schizophrenia patients with prominent negative symptoms were recruited and assigned to either a WM training group or a treatment-as-usual (TAU) control group. The WM training group underwent 20 sessions of training using the dual n-back task over one month. A functional neuroimaging paradigm of the Affective Incentive Delay (AID) task was administered before and after the training intervention to evaluate the remediation effect of the intervention. Results: Our results showed that the WM training group demonstrated significant improvement in the WM training task and inattention symptoms. Compared with the TAU group, increased brain activations were observed at the right insula and the right frontal sub-gyral after WM training in the training group. Conclusions: These findings support the efficacy of WM training in ameliorating hedonic dysfunction in schizophrenia patients with prominent negative symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)434-453
Number of pages20
JournalCognitive Neuropsychiatry
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2019


  • Dual n-back training
  • anticipatory pleasure
  • consummatory pleasure
  • functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)
  • hedonic processing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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