This study compares neuropsychological functioning in a Japanese schizophrenia spectrum disorder group and a group of healthy Japanese volunteers. Participants were 37 patients diagnosed with schizophrenia, 28 schizotypal patients, and 99 psychiatrically-normal volunteers. A wide range of cognitive measures were examined. All participants completed a Japanese version of a neuropsychological battery assessing executive function, working memory, processing speed, language, verbal memory, and spatial organization. Comparisons of neuropsychological function demonstrated similarities and differences between patients diagnosed with schizotypal disorder and those diagnosed with schizophrenia. Impairments in verbal memory, language, and processing speed were common to both patient groups and may represent a vulnerability to schizophrenia. Impairments in aspects of working memory, spatial organization and executive function were preferentially observed in schizophrenia and may be features of the overt manifestation of psychosis. Possible differences in the contributions of prefrontal and temporolimbic structures provide direction for further studies. (JINS, 2007, 13, 672–682.)
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