Levels of processing effects on recognition memory in patients with schizophrenia

Brianna M. Paul, Brita Elvevåg, Christina E. Bokat, Daniel R. Weinberger, Terry E. Goldberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study sought to characterize the performance of patients with schizophrenia, as compared with healthy participants, on a memory task that required encoding of items to different depths. Participants included 21 individuals with schizophrenia and 26 healthy controls. During the encoding phase of the study, participants processed successively presented words in two ways: perceptually (by making a decision as to whether the letter "a" was present in the word) or semantically (by making a living/nonliving decision for each word). During the recognition phase of the study, participants were presented with a list of words containing items that had been presented during the encoding phase (during either the letter decision task or the semantic decision task), as well as items that had not been seen before (foils). Though patients with schizophrenia performed more poorly overall on the recognition task, recognition was facilitated by semantic encoding to an equivalent degree in both groups. In other words, while significant main effects were present for group and encoding, no group x encoding condition was present. This result is consistent with previous findings of a lack of qualitative differences in performance on learning and memory tasks between patients with schizophrenia and healthy controls. It also suggests that strategies that place constraints on the encoding processes used by patients may help improve the efficiency with which they learn and remember information.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-110
Number of pages10
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 1 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Encoding
  • Episodic memory
  • Recognition
  • Schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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