25 May 2016: Mechanisms of visual working memory impairment in schizophrenia

Molly Erickson
Department of Psychiatry
Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care

People with schizophrenia have robust and reliable deficits in working memory capacity that are associated with broader cognitive abilities and overall functional outcome. Though working memory impairment is often considered a core cognitive disturbance in this population, the mechanisms that give rise to this impairment are not yet known. In the present work, I explore behavioral explanations for this impairment, such as poor selective attention, task engagement, and attentional fatigue. I will also describe a novel biomarker of working memory consolidation that is impaired in patients and may provide a mechanistic link between physiological processes and cognitive disruption in schizophrenia.