Analyzing Confabulations in Schizophrenia and Healthy Participants

Mohammed K Shakeel, Nancy M Docherty, Patrick R Rich, Maria S Zaragoza, Quin M Chrobak, Amanda McCleery
Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society: JINS 2016, 22 (9): 911-919

OBJECTIVES: Confabulations occur in schizophrenia and certain severe neuropsychiatric conditions, and to a lesser degree in healthy individuals. The present study used a forced confabulation paradigm to assess differences in confabulation between schizophrenia patients and healthy controls.

METHODS: Schizophrenia patients (n=60) and healthy control participants (n=19) were shown a video with missing segments, asked to fill in the gaps with speculations, and tested on their memory for the story. Cognitive functions and severity of symptoms were also evaluated.

RESULTS: Schizophrenia patients generated significantly more confabulations than healthy control participants and had a greater tendency to generate confabulations that were related to each other. Schizophrenic confabulations were positively associated with temporal context confusions and formal thought disorder, and negatively with delusions.

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings show that the schizophrenia patients generate more confabulations than healthy controls and schizophrenic confabulations are associated with positive symptoms. (JINS, 2016, 22, 911-919).

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