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Ongür D, Cullen TJ, Wolf DH, Rohan M, Barreira P, Zalesak M, Heckers S. The neural basis of relational memory deficits in schizophrenia. Arch Gen Psychiatry . 2006 Apr ; 63(4):356-65. PubMed Abstract

Comments on Paper and Primary News
Primary News: Relational Memory Deficits Traced to Parietal Cortex/Hippocampus

Comment by:  Deborah Levy
Submitted 19 May 2006 Posted 19 May 2006

Comment by Deborah Levy, Debra Titone, and Howard Eichenbaum.
It is easy to appreciate why relational memory organization is such a compelling topic in studies of psychotic conditions. Relational memory allows one to flexibly manipulate information to discern new relationships based on known facts. The memory representations that support implicit reasoning of this type emerge effortlessly when the medial temporal lobe functions normally, whether navigating from a detour in a usual route or extrapolating that which is common across a set of individual memory traces. Relational thinking gone awry is a fundamental component of psychotic thinking. Inferential reasoning, referential ideas, and delusional extrapolations all involve making connections between unrelated things. These unwarranted connections, in turn, lead to erroneous (and potentially unrealistic) conclusions.

The kind of relational memory studied by Ongur et al. (2006) involves transitive inference (TI), or the capacity to...  Read more

View all comments by Deborah Levy

Primary News: Relational Memory Deficits Traced to Parietal Cortex/Hippocampus

Comment by:  Patricia Estani
Submitted 3 June 2006 Posted 3 June 2006
  I recommend this paper

Primary News: Relational Memory Deficits Traced to Parietal Cortex/Hippocampus

Comment by:  Terry Goldberg
Submitted 19 June 2006 Posted 19 June 2006

Ongur, Heckers, and colleagues present an interesting set of findings about memory in schizophrenia. Using a transitive inference paradigm to explore relational memory (inferring that A>C if one knows A>B and B>C), they showed both a selective behavioral deficit for one particular type of transitive inference (“BD”) that can only be done through logic and not through reinforcement alone and abnormalities in BOLD activation in parietal cortex, hippocampus, and anterior cingulate in schizophrenia. The study is exciting because it pinpoints a relatively specific mnemonic processing abnormality, a task not as easy as it may appear. Our own behavioral work (Goldberg, Elvevaag, and colleagues) has emphasized quantitative but not qualitative behavioral memory processing impairments in paradigms that included levels of encoding, false memory, and AB-ABr interference. A computational model of this work seemed to demonstrate marked reductions in connectivity (but not “neuronal number” or “noise”) in inputs into “entorhinal cortex” and from entorhinal to hippocampus fit the data well....  Read more

View all comments by Terry Goldberg
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