Effects of retroactive and proactive interference on word list recall in schizophrenia

J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 2001 May;7(4):481-90. doi: 10.1017/s1355617701744049.


Schizophrenia spectrum patients (N = 143) and healthy controls (N = 160) were administered the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT) and tests of executive functioning to directly investigate the effects of proactive interference (PI) and retroactive interference (RI) on word list recall. It was hypothesized that by virtue of the predicted preferential association between executive functioning and RI (relative to PI), patients would demonstrate increased susceptibility to RI in their ability to recall word lists. Results indicated that patients show increased susceptibility to RI relative to PI. Furthermore, this difference appeared to be related to the frontally-mediated central executive functions that were preferentially associated with RI but not PI susceptibility.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Frontal Lobe / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Memory Disorders / diagnosis
  • Memory Disorders / etiology*
  • Mental Recall / physiology*
  • Proactive Inhibition*
  • Schizophrenia / complications*
  • Schizophrenia / physiopathology*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Time Perception / physiology
  • Vocabulary*