Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Confabulation and schizophrenia

Confabulation is the production of false memories without the deliberate attempt to lie i.e. the person talking about them really believes they happened. It is a feature of Wernicke-Korsakoff amnesia and of frontal lobe syndrome and has also been documented in schizophrenia. Researchers in Spain looked at the links between confabulation, schizophrenia and other cognitive problems by asking a group of people with schizophrenia and a healthy control group to recall a series of short fables. If the participants in the trial added unecessary or superfluous details to the fables when they recalled them this was seen as evidence of confabulation. Confabulation was seen at a significantly higher rate in the schizophrenic patients than in the control group and predominated in schizophrenia sufferers with disordered thoughts. Confabulation was not related to intelligence or problems with episodic (for events) memory. However, confabulation was linked to problems with semantic (for words) memory.

Lorente-Rovira, E. ... [et al] - Confabulation in schizophrenia and its relationship to clinical and neuropsychological features of the disorder Psychological Medicine 2007, 37, 1403-1412

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