Random number generation with a written response mode provides a potentially appealing marker for executive processes. Impaired performance on written random number generation tasks has been reported in chronic schizophrenic patients. However, no study has investigated whether such a deficit occurs in early schizophrenia and whether its profile and severity are similar to those in patients with chronic illness. This study investigated the ability to generate random numbers in patients with early schizophrenia (n = 44) and a healthy control group (n = 48). Patients were less able to maintain several production strategies and generated more stereotyped response sequences, whereas their abilities to identify randomness with an even-handed treatment of digits and to monitor the equality of occurrence of single digits appeared to remain intact. These results provide evidence that some aspects of the deficits in random number generation among chronic schizophrenic patients are also present at early psychotic episode, while some other aspects are relatively less affected in the early years. Copyright © 2011 Perceptual and Motor Skills.
|Journal||Perceptual and Motor Skills|
|Publication status||Published - Feb 2011|