Semantic Fluency in Schizophrenia

By Popescu, Codruta Alina; Miclutia, Ioana Valentina | Journal of Evidence-Based Psychotherapies, September 2006 | Go to article overview

Semantic Fluency in Schizophrenia


Popescu, Codruta Alina, Miclutia, Ioana Valentina, Journal of Evidence-Based Psychotherapies


Abstract

Background: Patients with schizophrenia exhibit various cognitive dysfunctions, most of them rendered evident by language.

Objectives: The aims of the current study are: to compare the global semantic performance of schizophrenics with those of normal controls and to explore the schizophrenics' semantic network.

Method: 62 schizophrenic patients, admitted to the Second Psychiatric Clinic, diagnosed according to ICD-10 criteria and 158 healthy controls were evaluated with tasks for semantic fluency (animals, fruits, and body parts).

Statistical analysis: The correlation between clinical symptoms, demographic data and the verbal fluency variables has been determined using Pearson's correlations. Data were analysed using ANOVA and for semantic fluency this was followed by multidimensional scaling (MDS).

Results: Patients with schizophrenia generated fewer words than healthy controls on semantic fluency tasks. The MDS analysis showed that the semantic structure for schizophrenics with hallucinations was more disorganized than that for schizophrenics without hallucinations. The study emphasized in the later subgroup a lack of any organisation or logical associations within their semantic network of animals, fruits or body parts.

Conclusions: The comparison between schizophrenia patients and normal controls indicated impaired semantic structure in the patient group, in addition to decreased word production.

Key words: verbal fluency, schizophrenia, semantic store

INTRODUCTION

Schizophrenic patients show impaired functioning in multiple cognitive domains such as memory, attention and cognitive function (van Beilen et al, 2004).

The verbal fluency tasks are useful to assess cognitive dysfunctions in schizophrenia as they evaluate both executive and semantic memory function requiring language skills such as quick and spontaneous word productions (Sumiyoshi et al., 2005).

DSM-IV-TR (APA, 2000) requires among A diagnostic criteria the disorganized speech (such as frequent derailment or incoherence) while ICD-10 (WHO, 1996) mentions language disturbance at the end of the list among negative symptoms (paucity of speech), letting the diagnostician to deduce them from the frontline thought disorders (thought echo, thought insertion and broadcasting).

Formal thought disorders are intrinsic connected to the semantic verbal relaxation. The semantic and syntactic tools are less put into practice, leading to a broadening of the sense of speech.

In verbal fluency tasks, formal thought disorder was associated with producing fewer contextually related words, and hallucinations were associated with producing more related words (Kerns et al., 1999).

Both semantic verbal fluency and phonological fluency are good cognitive markers in schizophrenia. According to Stolar et al. (1994) phonological deficits are related to alogia in schizophrenia being a potential marker for psychosis. Semantic fluency has been more related to delusion (Rossell et al., 1999).

Verbal fluency and differences between language productions of schizophrenics compared with normal population have been extensively studied by international literature (see also Paulsen et al., 1996). However, this is the first study on the topic of verbal fluency in schizophrenia conducted on a group of patients who are native Romanian language speakers. This study is important in order to see if the established pattern of the verbal fluency in schizophrenia, mainly on English-speaking populations, can be generalized to Romanian language too.

OBJECTIVES

The aims of the current study are:

* to compare the global semantic performance of schizophrenics with those of normal controls;

* to analyse the type of association of the produced words during the semantic verbal fluency tasks;

* to investigate if schizophrenic patients' performance on semantic fluency tasks could be explained by different impairments in cognitive strategies as switches or clusters;

* to emphasize the relation between psychotic symptoms and the deterioration of the semantic memory in schizophrenics patients;

* to explore the schizophrenics' semantic network. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Semantic Fluency in Schizophrenia
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.