Special Talk - "Remembered Reality: Towards a Profile of Metamemory Function among Persons with Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders”

Bruce Christensen, Ph.D. Australian National University

Abstract: Interest in how metacognitive mechanisms might contribute to the pathogenesis, maintenance, and experience of psychopathology has dramatically increased in the past two decades. In fact, it has spawned several new psychological treatments aimed at altering metacognitive processes, such as those underlying psychosis. However, these efforts have progressed with only minimal consideration of the large and robust cognitive psychology literature examining metacognitive phenomena, including metamemory. This literature highlights that postretrieval monitoring and control processes (e.g., those demonstrated by the quantity-accuracy profile methodology), as well as preretrieval processes that constrain memory search (e.g., those demonstrated by source-constrained retrieval tasks), are both crucial for the regulation and strategic use of memory. Moreover, these operations are also dependent on agile control mechanisms that permit rememberers to dynamically regulate memory in accordance with task demands, behavioral goals, and incentives (e.g., those demonstrated under conditions of decreased discriminability, unexpected alterations of retrieval cues, or differential monetary rewards). Across several individual experiments, this seminar will present results elucidating specific preretrieval, postretrieval, and dynamic regulatory metamemory processes among persons with Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders. Results suggest a varied pattern of metamemory deficits and associations with clinical variables. The implications of these findings, including the imperative to increase experimental research to better guide treatment development, will be discussed.