Altered selection during language processing in individuals at high risk for psychosis

Teresa Vargas*, Hannah Snyder, Marie Banich, Rae Newberry, Stewart A Shankman, Gregory P. Strauss, Vijay Anand Mittal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Introduction: Performance in the executive function (EF) domain has been linked to symptoms and functional outcomes in psychosis. Studies have found that UHR populations have difficulty with verbal fluency, which involves multiple facets of EF. Two potentially implicated EF facets were examined to explore whether these could be dissociated in UHR populations: selection among alternatives (measured by selection costs) and retrieval from semantic memory retrieval (measured by retrieval costs). Methods: A total of 45 UHR individuals and 46 healthy controls (HVs) were assessed with a verb generation task. Differences in selection cost (RT difference between high and low selection demand conditions) and retrieval cost (RT difference between high and low retrieval demand conditions) were examined and participants were also assessed for clinical symptoms. Results: The UHR group showed greater selection costs relative to HVs, F (1, 91) = 4.39, p = 0.039. However, there were no group differences on retrieval cost, F (1, 91) = 0.63, p = 0.43. A positive association (r = 0.41) was found between disorganized and negative symptoms and selection costs (but not retrieval costs) in the UHR group. There was no significant association between selection costs and positive symptoms. Discussion: Increased selection costs may reflect impaired performance in the neural inhibition domain of EF in the UHR population, potentially underlying a mechanistically distinct EF subdomain that affects the group's ability to efficiently select between competing options. Findings suggest that UHR individuals may exhibit impairment in selecting among alternatives, but not in retrieval from semantic memory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)303-309
Number of pages7
JournalSchizophrenia Research
StatePublished - Dec 2018


  • Executive function
  • High risk
  • Psychosis
  • Selection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


Dive into the research topics of 'Altered selection during language processing in individuals at high risk for psychosis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this