Spatial serial order processing in schizophrenia

David Fraser, Sohee Park, Gina Clark, Daniel Yohanna, James C. Houk*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


The aim of this study was to examine serial order processing deficits in 21 schizophrenia patients and 16 age- and education-matched healthy controls. In a spatial serial order working memory task, one to four spatial targets were presented in a randomized sequence. Subjects were required to remember the locations and the order in which the targets were presented. Patients showed a marked deficit in ability to remember the sequences compared with controls. Increasing the number of targets within a sequence resulted in poorer memory performance for both control and schizophrenia subjects, but the effect was much more pronounced in the patients. Targets presented at the end of a long sequence were more vulnerable to memory error in schizophrenia patients. Performance deficits were not attributable to motor errors, but to errors in target choice. The results support the idea that the memory errors seen in schizophrenia patients may be due to saturating the working memory network at relatively low levels of memory load.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)203-213
Number of pages11
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Oct 1 2004


  • Saturation
  • Schizophrenia
  • Sequence
  • Serial order
  • Working memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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