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Tower of London versus Real Life Analogue Planning in Schizophrenia with Disorganization and Psychomotor Poverty Symptoms

  • Kathryn E. Greenwood (a1) (a2) (a3), Til Wykes (a1), Thordur Sigmundsson (a4), Sabine Landau (a5) and Robin G. Morris (a1)...

Abstract

Neuropsychological models propose qualitatively distinct planning impairments in the psychomotor poverty and disorganization syndromes in schizophrenia. It was proposed that poor plan initiation in psychomotor poverty would lead to longer initial planning times, while poor plan execution in disorganization would lead to greater inefficiency. Participants with psychomotor poverty (n = 30) and disorganization (n = 29) symptoms were contrasted with healthy controls (n = 28) to elucidate distinct planning impairments. Planning was compared in the Tower of London task versus real life analogue performance in the form of a board-game style diary planning task. The specificity of planning impairments was investigated by controlling for current IQ. The disorganization group demonstrated inefficient planning across both tasks, with poor performance on the Tower of London but not on the real life analogue task remaining after intelligence levels were taken into account. Initial planning times did not differ between groups. Previous associations between poor planning and symptoms may have been driven by poor planning with disorganization symptoms and associated lower order impairments in executive function or the semantic system. Targeting these impairments in people with disorganization symptoms may lead to a greater chance of success in promoting generalization to the real world. (JINS, 2011, 17, 474–484)

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Corresponding author

Correspondence and reprint requests to: Kathryn Greenwood, School of Psychology, Pevensey Building, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton, United Kingdom. BN1 9QH. E-mail: kathryn.greenwood@kcl.ac.uk

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