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Alekseev A.A., Rupchev G.E., Tkhostov A.Sh. (2021). Planning disorders in patients with schizophrenia: potential role of short-term memory and attention, [Natsional’nyy psikhologicheskiy zhurnal], 2 (42), 51–60. doi: 10.11621/ npj.2020.0405


Background. Although planning disorders in schizophrenia are a fairly reliably established fact, the mechanisms of these disorders remain not fully clarified. Given the complex nature of planning, the presence of its disturbances can be influenced by disturbances of other mental processes.

Objective. Comparison of the links between planning, short-term memory, attention and abstract thinking in patients with schizophrenia and in normal.

Design. 50 patients with schizophrenia (14 females, age 34.92 ± 8.54; illness duration 8.34 ± 5.87) and 50 healthy volunteers (14 females, age 32.42 ± 7.26) were examined. Assessment included: Tower of London-Test (TOL-DX) for planning assessment; Benton’s test (BVTR) for short-term memory assessment; sub-test Similarity (from WAIS) for abstract thinking assessment; Schulte Tables for assessment of attention; Wisconsin Card Sorting Test to assess cognitive flexibility.

Results. Patients showed significantly worse results in all parameters, which indicates that patients have impairments in all assessed cognitive functions. The revealed relationships between planning and other cognitive processes in schizophrenic patients and healthy subjects were significantly different. In healthy subjects, the effectiveness of planning was found to be associated only with abstract thinking. At the same time, in patients with schizophrenia, associations were found between the effectiveness of planning and all the other cognitive processes (short-term memory, attention, set-shifting).

Conclusion. The preservation of planning in schizophrenia is associated with the preservation of other mental processes. Short-term memory and attention are necessary, but not sufficient conditions for the realization of the planning process.

Received: 07/16/2021
Accepted: 07/29/2021
Pages: 51-60
DOI: 10.11621/npj.2021.0205


Keywords: executive function; planning; schizophrenia; short-term memory; attention; abstract thinking

Available Online 30.07.2021


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For citing this article:

Alekseev A.A., Rupchev G.E., Tkhostov A.Sh. (2021). Planning disorders in patients with schizophrenia: potential role of short-term memory and attention, [Natsional’nyy psikhologicheskiy zhurnal], 2 (42), 51–60. doi: 10.11621/ npj.2020.0405

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