BACKGROUND: Schizophrenia (SCZ) and bipolar disorder (BD) share some cognitive commonalities. However, the role of associative learning, which is a cornerstone of human cognition mainly relying on hippocampus, has been under-investigated. We assessed behavioral performance during associative learning in a group of SCZ, BD and healthy controls (HC). METHODS: Nineteen patients with SCZ (36 ± 8.1 years; 13 males, 6 females; all Caucasians), 14 patients with BD (41 ± 9.6 years; 5 males, 9 females; all Caucasians) and 45 HC (27.7 ± 6.9 years; 18 males, 27 females; all Caucasians) were studied. Learning was assessed using an established object-location paired-associative learning paradigm. Subjects learned associations between nine equi-familiar common objects and locations in a nine-location grid. Performance data were analyzed in a repeated measures analysis of variance with time (repeated) and group as factors. RESULTS: Learning curves (performance = (1-e(-k x time)) fitted to average performance data in the three groups revealed lower learning rates in SCZ and BD (k = 0.17 and k = 0.34) than HC (k = 0.78). Significant effects of group (F = 11.05, p < 0.001) and time (F = 122.06, p < 0.001) on learning performance were observed. CONCLUSIONS: Our study showed that associative learning is impaired in both SCZ and BD, being potentially not affected by medication. Future studies should investigate the neural substrates of learning deficits in SCZ and BD, particularly focusing on hippocampus function and glutamatergic transmission.
|Titolo:||Shared impairment in associative learning in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder|
BRAMBILLA, PAOLO (Corresponding)
|Parole Chiave:||Glutamatergic system; Hippocampus; Memory; Neuropsychology; Plasticity|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore MED/25 - Psichiatria|
|Data di pubblicazione:||giu-2011|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1016/j.pnpbp.2011.03.007|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su periodico|