Although patients with schizophrenia have severe memory impairments and emotional deficits, studies investigating emotional memory modulation (EMM) in schizophrenia show contradictory results, possibly due to methodological differences and small group size. We investigated whether impaired EMM is already present in First Episode Psychosis (FEP) and whether impairments in EMM are task or stimulus dependent. Forty-five FEP and thirty-seven Healthy Control (HC) male participants matched for age performed visual and verbal short-term (immediate recall) and long-term (after 24. h recognition) memory tasks with neutral, negative and positive stimuli. On all tasks overall memory performance for FEP was significantly below that of HC. Although EMM varied by task and type of stimulus, none of the tasks showed a difference in EMM between FEP and HC. There were no differences between FEP and HC in the way emotion modulates different memory domains. This could mean that EMM is spared in the early course of schizophrenia.

First episode psychosis, Long-term memory, Schizophrenia, Short-term memory, Verbal memory, Visual memory
dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2015.01.006, hdl.handle.net/1765/82876
Psychiatry Research
Department of Psychology

Dieleman, S, van der Veen, F.M, van Beveren, N.J.M, & Röder, C.H. (2015). Preserved emotional memory modulation in first episode psychosis. Psychiatry Research, 226(1), 301–307. doi:10.1016/j.psychres.2015.01.006