... and memory lapses.Schizophrenia is often marked by poor performance on memory tests, accompanied by diminished activity in frontal brain areas involved in reasoning. It's unclear, however, whether these mental lapses tap into a neural disturbance specific to the disorder or reflect the unwillingness of frequently apathetic ap·a·thet·ic
Lacking interest or concern; indifferent.
apa·thet schizophrenia sufferers to make the mental effort to remember. A study directed by neuroscientist neuroscientist A researcher, often with an advanced degree–MD, MS, PhD–who investigates neural and brain-related phenomena Paul C. Fletcher of the Institute of Neurology in London lends support to the latter view.
Twelve people with schizophrenia and seven adults with no psychiatric ailments underwent positron emission tomography positron emission tomography: see PET scan.
positron emission tomography (PET)
Imaging technique used in diagnosis and biomedical research. (PET) scanning as they learned and recalled lists of 1 to 12 words. PET scans PET scan (pĕt) or positron emission tomography (pŏz`ĭtrŏn' ĭmĭsh`ən təmŏg`rəfē) yield measures of blood-flow changes in the brain, an indirect sign of mental activity.
In schizophrenia, frontal brain activity and memory performance dropped as tasks became more demanding, consistent with a lack of mental effort, Fletcher's group reports in the November Archives Of General Psychiatry Archives of General Psychiatry is a monthly professional medical journal published by the American Medical Association. Archives of General Psychiatry publishes original, peer-reviewed articles about psychiatry, mental health, behavioral science and related fields. . In contrast, the researchers found, frontal activity rose in the mentally healthy adults as they successfully recalled more information on progressively more challenging tasks.