Episodic memory functions in first episode psychosis and clinical high risk individuals

Sarah E. Greenland-White, John D Ragland, Tara A Niendam, Emilio Ferrer, Cameron S Carter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Objective: Individuals with schizophrenia have disproportionate memory impairments when encoding relational versus item-specific information, and when using recollection versus familiarity during retrieval. It is unclear whether this pattern is unique to people with chronic schizophrenia, or if it occurs in individuals after a first episode of psychosis (FE), or when at clinical high-risk for psychosis (CHR). Methods: We administered the Relational and Item-Specific Memory task (RiSE) to 22 CHR, 101 FE, and 58 typically developing (TD) participants. We examined group differences in item and relational encoding, and familiarity-based and recollection-based retrieval using parametric analysis and structural equation modeling (SEM). Longitudinal data allowed us to examine relations between baseline RiSE performance and change in clinical symptoms at 1-year follow-up in the FE group. Results: Groups did not differ on familiarity. FE and CHR groups were equally impaired on overall recognition accuracy. Although recollection was impaired in both FE and CHR groups following relational encoding, only the FE group had impaired recollection following item encoding. SEM showed atypical relationships between familiarity and recollection, as well as familiarity and item recognition for both the FE and CHR groups. For FE individuals, better baseline recognition accuracy predicted less severe negative symptoms at 1-year follow-up. Conclusions: Impaired relational and recollective memory may reflect neurodevelopmental abnormalities predating conversion to psychosis. These memory deficits appear related to negative symptom changes. In contrast, item specific recollection deficits appear to occur after the development of full psychosis. Familiarity appears to be a relatively preserved memory function across the psychosis spectrum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalSchizophrenia Research
StateAccepted/In press - Sep 12 2016


  • Clinical high risk
  • Episodic memory
  • Familiarity
  • Neurocognition
  • Recollection
  • Schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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