Dual-modality impairment of implicit learning of letter-strings versus color-patterns in patients with schizophrenia

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Hwu Hai-Gwo ; Hsieh Ming H ; Liu Kristina ; Chiu Ming-Jang (2005)
  • Publisher: BioMed Central
  • Journal: Behavioral and Brain Functions, volume 1, pages 23-23 (issn: 1744-9081, eissn: 1744-9081)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.1186/1744-9081-1-23, pmc: PMC1334227
  • Subject: Neurology. Diseases of the nervous system | RC346-429 | Research
    mesheuropmc: education | genetic structures | animal structures

<p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Implicit learning was reported to be intact in schizophrenia using artificial grammar learning. However, emerging evidence indicates that artificial grammar learning is not a unitary process. The authors used dual coding stimuli and schizophrenia clinical symptom dimensions to re-evaluate the effect of schizophrenia on various components of artificial grammar learning.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>Letter string and color pattern artificial grammar learning performances were compared between 63 schizophrenic patients and 27 comparison subjects. Four symptom dimensions derived from a Chinese Positive and Negative Symptom Scale ratings were correlated with patients' artificial grammar implicit learning performances along the two stimulus dimensions. Patients' explicit memory performances were assessed by verbal paired associates and visual reproduction subtests of the Wechsler Memory Scales Revised Version to provide a contrast to their implicit memory function.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>Schizophrenia severely hindered color pattern artificial grammar learning while the disease affected lexical string artificial grammar learning to a lesser degree after correcting the influences from age, education and the performance of explicit memory function of both verbal and visual modalities. Both learning performances correlated significantly with the severity of patients' schizophrenic clinical symptom dimensions that reflect poor abstract thinking, disorganized thinking, and stereotyped thinking.</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>The results of this study suggested that schizophrenia affects various mechanisms of artificial grammar learning differently. Implicit learning, knowledge acquisition in the absence of conscious awareness, is not entirely intact in patients with schizophrenia. Schizophrenia affects implicit learning through an impairment of the ability of making abstractions from rules and at least in part decreasing the capacity for perceptual learning.</p>
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