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Semantic Clustering of Category Fluency in Schizophrenia Examined with Singular Value Decomposition

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 March 2012

Kyongje Sung
Affiliation:
Department of Neurology, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland
Barry Gordon
Affiliation:
Department of Neurology, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland Department of Cognitive Science, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland
Tracy D. Vannorsdall
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland
Kerry Ledoux
Affiliation:
Department of Neurology, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland
Erin J. Pickett
Affiliation:
Department of Neurology, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland
Godfrey D. Pearlson
Affiliation:
Olin Neuropsychiatry Research Center, Institute of Living/Hartford Hospital, Hartford, Connecticut Departments of Psychiatry and Neurobiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut
David J. Schretlen*
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland Russell H. Morgan Department of Radiology and Radiological Science, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland
*
Correspondence and reprint requests to: David J. Schretlen, Johns Hopkins Hospital, 600 N. Wolfe Street, Meyer 218, Baltimore, MD 21287-7218. E-mail: dschret@jhmi.edu

Abstract

Decreased productivity on verbal fluency tasks by persons with schizophrenia has been attributed to semantic system abnormalities. Semantic structure is often assessed using multidimensional scaling (MDS) to detect normal and aberrant semantic clustering. However, MDS has limitations that may be particularly problematic for such assessments. Here, we introduce a different clustering technique, singular value decomposition (SVD), to elucidate abnormalities of the semantic system in schizophrenia. We compared 102 treated outpatients with schizophrenia to 109 healthy adults on two category-cued word fluency tasks. Patients with schizophrenia showed semantic clustering patterns that differ markedly from those of healthy adults. However, SVD revealed more detailed and critical semantic system abnormalities than previously appreciated using MDS. Patients with schizophrenia showed less coherent semantic clustering of both low- and high-frequency category exemplars than healthy adults. These results suggest the intriguing possibility that impaired automatic activation of semantic information is a key deficit in schizophrenia. (JINS, 2012, 18, 565–575)

Type
Research Articles
Copyright
Copyright © The International Neuropsychological Society 2012

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