Preliminary evidence for impaired rapid verb generation in schizophrenia

S.P. Woods, Michael Weinborn, C. Posada, J. O'Grady

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


It has been hypothesized that nouns and verbs are processed within relatively separable semantic memory networks. Although abnormal semantic processing is a common feature of schizophrenia-spectrum disorders, no prior studies have specifically examined the comparability of noun and verb generation deficits in schizophrenia. In the current study, verb (action), noun (animal), and letter (f) fluency performance was evaluated in 22 inpatients with schizophrenia and 27 healthy comparison subjects. On average, individuals with schizophrenia performed approximately one standard deviation below the healthy comparison subjects on action, animal, and letter fluency. Action fluency-but not letter or animal fluency-was moderately correlated with tests of working memory, response inhibition, semantic memory, and cognitive flexibility. Findings suggest that verb- and noun-based fluency deficits are of comparable severity in schizophrenia, but that the impairment in verb generation may be driven by different underlying cognitive mechanisms. Further, hypothesis-driven research on the nature and extent of verb network disruption in schizophrenia appears warranted. (C) 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-51
JournalBrain and Language
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007


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