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Major depressive disorder and schizophrenia are associated with a disturbed experience of temporal memory

DRAKEFORD, Justine L, Srivastava, Shrikant, Calthorpe, William R, Mukherjee, Tirthankar, CLARK-CARTER, David, Oyebode, Femi and Edelstyn, Nicola M J (2020) Major depressive disorder and schizophrenia are associated with a disturbed experience of temporal memory. Journal of Affective Disorders Reports, 2. ISSN 26669153

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Abstract or description


Disturbances in ‘psychological time’ are frequently reported in major depressive disorder (MDD) and schizophrenia. If one accepts the suggestion that the experience of the dimensions of time, past-present-future, are not inseparable then a disturbance in episodic memory is implicated. Episodic memory allows us to make sense of the world and our place within it by constructing a temporal context and temporal flow between events. These temporal representations are disordered in schizophrenia, but whether this is reflected in MDD is not known. Temporal-order memory deficits can be explained by two hypotheses. The prefrontal-organisational hypothesis suggests that deficits result from a breakdown in processes involved in encoding, retrieval, monitoring and decision-making. Whereas the hippocampal-mnemonic theory suggests that item-encoding, and inter-item associative encoding contribute to temporal-order memory.

New learning, recency judgments and executive function were investigated in 14 MDD patients, 15 schizophrenia patients and 10 healthy volunteers (HVs).

Relative to HVs, both MDD and schizophrenia made more temporal errors despite achieving 100% learning. Deficits in executive function and item-recognition were present in both psychiatric groups, but executive function correlated to temporal errors in MDD only, and item-recognition to new learning in schizophrenia only.

MDD and schizophrenia patients were taking medication

Temporal-ordering deficits are evident in both MDD and schizophrenia, and whilst the disruption of organisational and mnemonic processes appears to be ubiquitous, preliminary evidence from the correlational analysis suggests prefrontal problems are implicated in MDD temporal-order deficits, whereas hippocampal are more associated to temporal-order memory deficits in schizophrenia.

Item Type: Article
Faculty: School of Life Sciences and Education > Psychology
Depositing User: Justine DRAKEFORD
Date Deposited: 16 Dec 2020 12:22
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2023 14:00

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