Publications by Year: 2009

2009
Kuperberg, G., Ditman, T., Kreher, D., & Goldberg, T. (2009). Behavioral and electrophysiological approaches to understanding language dysfunction in neuropsychiatric disorders: Insights from the study of schizophrenia. In S. Wood, N. Allen and C. Pantelis (Eds): Handbook of Neuropsychology of Mental Illness (pp. 67-95) . Cambridge University Press. Full Text
Sitnikova, T., Goff, D., & Kuperberg, G. R. (2009). Neurocognitive abnormalities during comprehension of real-world goal-directed behaviors in schizophrenia. J Abnorm Psychol , 118 (2), 256-77. Full TextAbstract
Origins of impaired adaptive functioning in schizophrenia remain poorly understood. Behavioral disorganization may arise from an abnormal reliance on common combinations between concepts stored in semantic memory. Avolition-apathy may be related to deficits in using goal-related requirements to flexibly plan behavior. The authors recorded event-related potentials (ERPs) in 16 patients with medicated schizophrenia and 16 healthy controls in a novel video paradigm presenting congruous or incongruous objects in real-world activities. All incongruous objects were contextually inappropriate, but the incongruous scenes varied in comprehensibility. Psychopathology was assessed with the Scales for the Assessment of Positive and Negative Symptoms (SAPS/SANS) and the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale. In patients, an N400 ERP, thought to index activity in semantic memory, was abnormally enhanced to less comprehensible incongruous scenes, and larger N400 priming was associated with disorganization severity. A P600 ERP, which may index flexible object-action integration based on goal-related requirements, was abnormally attenuated in patients, and its smaller magnitude was associated with the SANS rating of impersistence at work or school (goal-directed behavior). Thus, distinct neurocognitive abnormalities may underlie disorganization and goal-directed behavior deficits in schizophrenia.
Kreher, D. A., Goff, D., & Kuperberg, G. R. (2009). Why all the confusion? Experimental task explains discrepant semantic priming effects in schizophrenia under "automatic" conditions: evidence from Event-Related Potentials. Schizophr Res , 111 (1-3), 174-81. Full TextAbstract
The schizophrenia research literature contains many differing accounts of semantic memory function in schizophrenia as assessed through the semantic priming paradigm. Most recently, Event-Related Potentials (ERPs) have been used to demonstrate both increased and decreased semantic priming at a neural level in schizophrenia patients, relative to healthy controls. The present study used ERPs to investigate the role of behavioral task in determining neural semantic priming effects in schizophrenia. The same schizophrenia patients and healthy controls completed two experiments in which word stimuli were identical, and the time between the onset of prime and target remained constant at 350 ms: in the first, participants monitored for words within a particular semantic category that appeared only in filler items (implicit task); in the second, participants explicitly rated the relatedness of word-pairs (explicit task). In the explicit task, schizophrenia patients showed reduced direct and indirect semantic priming in comparison with healthy controls. In contrast, in the implicit task, schizophrenia patients showed normal or, in positively thought-disordered patients, increased direct and indirect N400 priming effects compared with healthy controls. These data confirm that, although schizophrenia patients with positive thought disorder may show an abnormally increased automatic spreading activation, the introduction of semantic decision-making can result in abnormally reduced semantic priming in schizophrenia, even when other experimental conditions bias toward automatic processing.
Holt, D. J., Lynn, S. K., & Kuperberg, G. R. (2009). Neurophysiological correlates of comprehending emotional meaning in context. J Cogn Neurosci , 21 (11), 2245-62. Full TextAbstract
Although the neurocognitive mechanisms of nonaffective language comprehension have been studied extensively, relatively less is known about how the emotional meaning of language is processed. In this study, electrophysiological responses to affectively positive, negative, and neutral words, presented within nonconstraining, neutral contexts, were evaluated under conditions of explicit evaluation of emotional content (Experiment 1) and passive reading (Experiment 2). In both experiments, a widely distributed Late Positivity was found to be larger to negative than to positive words (a "negativity bias"). In addition, in Experiment 2, a small, posterior N400 effect to negative and positive (relative to neutral) words was detected, with no differences found between N400 magnitudes to negative and positive words. Taken together, these results suggest that comprehending the emotional meaning of words following a neutral context requires an initial semantic analysis that is relatively more engaged for emotional than for nonemotional words, whereas a later, more extended, attention-modulated process distinguishes the specific emotional valence (positive vs. negative) of words. Thus, emotional processing networks within the brain appear to exert a continuous influence, evident at several stages, on the construction of the emotional meaning of language.
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