Feder, G. I. (2021). Self and Schizophrenia: Do Schizophrenia Patients Show the Incidental Self-Reference Effect in Memory. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.14418/wes01.2.302
In healthy individuals, presenting to-be-remembered stimuli along with self-relevant vs. other-relevant information under a non-self-referential encoding context has been reliably shown to produce a memory advantage, termed the incidental self-reference effect. The present study examined whether patients with schizophrenia exhibit a similar incidental self-reference effect. During encoding, schizophrenia patients and matched controls were presented with target words that appeared either above or below a centrally-presented name (the participants¿ own full name or the full name of a public figure). The participants¿ task was to determine if each word appeared above or below the name in the middle. Following the encoding phase, participants were given a surprise recognition memory test in which they were presented with ¿old¿ words that had been previously presented in the encoding phase along with ¿new¿ words that had not been presented previously. Participants were asked to indicate whether or not they had seen each word during the preceding encoding phase. Our results showed that overall participants remembered more words that were co- presented with their own name compared to those that were co-presented with another person¿s name, replicating the previous findings of an incidental self-reference effect. Importantly, the magnitudes of this self-memory advantage did not significantly differ between patients with schizophrenia and healthy controls. Though preliminary, our findings suggest that a spontaneous/incidental form of self-related processing may be preserved in schizophrenia.