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The benefits of emotionally salient cues on event-based prospective memory in bipolar patients and schizophrenia patients
Author: Dr.Raymond CHAN      Update time: 2021/02/25
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Prospective memory (PM) is an important memory for future, refers to the ability to remember to carry out future intentions when prompted by a cue, such as posting a mail when passing the post office. Clinical populations including patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder have shown PM deficits. Previous studies have suggested that emotional PM cues may enhance PM performance, but few studies have examined whether these clinical populations can also acquire this enhancement effect. Dr. Raymond Chan’s team from the Neuropsychology and Applied Cognitive Neuroscience (NACN) Laboratory, CAS Key Laboratory of Mental Health, Institute of Psychology, and collaborators from Castle Peak Hospital and the University of Hong Kong have conducted a study to examine such an issue.

They recruited 28 patients with schizophrenia, 26 euthymic patients bipolar disorder and 29 healthy controls. Participants completed the PM task with negative, positive or neutral PM word cues. The task required participants to remember completing the PM tasks when seeing the PM cues during a working memory task. All the three groups showed better PM performance when negative PM cues were presented compared with positive and neutral PM cues. The sizes of the enhancement effects of negative PM cues were large (all Cohen’s d ≥ 1.00) and comparable across three groups.

Compared to their earlier reports (Yang et al, 2018), patients with schizophrenia appeared to be able to benefit from negative PM cues to an extent similar to healthy individuals. They also provide a novel evidence to support that euthymic patients with bipolar disorder could benefit from negative PM cues to an extent similar to healthy individuals. Taken together, their work extended the notion of psychosis continuum to the important area of emotion-cognition interaction. However, given that findings between their earlier reports (Yang et al, 2018) and this finding in patients with schizophrenia are divergent, more research on the emotion-cognition interaction in schizophrenia is warranted in future study. Nevertheless, these findings may highlight the importance of the development of potential cognitive training intervention for PM impairments in these clinical groups.

 The paper is now published online in European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience on 16 February 2021:
Lui, S.S.Y., Leung, S.S.W., Yang, T.X.*, Ho, K.K.Y., Man, C.M.Y., Leung, K.H.L., Wong, J.O.Y., Wang, Y., Cheung, E.F.C., Chan, R.C.K.* (2021). The benefits of emotionally salient cues on event-based prospective memory in bipolar patients and schizophrenia patients. European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience.

Related publications
-        Chan, R. C. K*., Lui, S. S. Y., Wang, Y., Liu, A. C. Y., Chui, W. W. H., Shum, D. H. K., Cheung, E. F. C. (2013). Patients with bipolar disorders share similar but attenuated prospective memory impairments with patients with schizophrenia. Psychological Medicine, 43, 1639-1649. doi: 10.1017/S003329171200236X
-        Yang, T., Cui, X., Wang, Y., Huang, J., Lui, S. S. Y., Zhang, R., . . . Chan, R. C. K. (2018). Effect of emotional cues on prospective memory performance in patients with schizophrenia and major depressive disorder. Schizophrenia Research, 201, 145-150. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2018.05.023
-        Chen, T., Liu, L. L., Cui, J. F., Li, Y., Qin, X. J., Tao, S. L., Neumann, D. L., Shun, D. H. K., Cheung, E. F. C., Wang, Y.*, Chan, R. C. K. (2019). Implementation intention training for prospective memory in schizophrenia: A 3-momth follow-up study. Schizophrenia Research, 206, 378-385.

LIU Chen
Institute of Psychology
Chinese Academy of Sciences
Beijing 100101, China.
E-mail: liuc@psych.ac.cn

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