Department of Psychology and Behavioural Sciences

Temporal processing of past and future autobiographical events in patients with schizophrenia

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • Hédi Ben Malek, University of Liege, INSERM, University of Strasbourg
  • ,
  • Arnaud D'Argembeau, University of Liege
  • ,
  • Mélissa C. Allé
  • ,
  • Nicolas Meyer, Université de Strasbourg, University Hospital of Strasbourg
  • ,
  • Jean Marie Danion, Université de Strasbourg, INSERM, University Hospital of Strasbourg
  • ,
  • Fabrice Berna, Université de Strasbourg, INSERM, University Hospital of Strasbourg

People with schizophrenia experience difficulties in remembering their past and envisioning their future. However, while alterations of event representation are well documented, little is known about how personal events are located and ordered in time. Using a think-aloud procedure, we investigated which strategies are used to determine the times of past and future events in 30 patients with schizophrenia and 30 control participants. We found that the direct access to temporal information of important events was preserved in patients with schizophrenia. However, when events were not directly located in time, patients less frequently used a combination of strategies and partly relied on different strategies to reconstruct or infer the times of past and future events. In particular, they used temporal landmark events and contextual details (e.g., about places, persons, or weather conditions) less frequently than controls to locate events in time. Furthermore, patients made more errors when they were asked to determine the temporal order of the past and future events that had been previously dated. Together, these findings shed new light on the mechanisms involved in locating and ordering personal events in past and future times and their alteration in schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish
Article number13858
JournalScientific Reports
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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