Absence of established sex differences in patients with schizophrenia on a two-dimensional object array task

Psychiatry Res. 2009 Apr 30;166(2-3):158-65. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2008.01.012. Epub 2009 Mar 10.


Sex differences are pervasive in schizophrenia, ranging from differences in the age of onset and symptoms of the illness to structural brain differences. Yet, there has been very little research on the interaction of these differences with established cognitive sex differences that exist in healthy populations. We tested 25 patients with schizophrenia and 17 healthy controls on a two-dimensional task of object location memory. It has been previously shown that healthy females outperform healthy males on this task, a result that was upheld in this experiment. However, the female advantage is completely absent in patients with schizophrenia. This finding has important implications for the interpretation of clinical and physiological sex differences present in schizophrenia.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Memory*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Orientation*
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Psychomotor Performance
  • Psychotic Disorders / diagnosis
  • Psychotic Disorders / psychology
  • Recognition, Psychology*
  • Schizophrenia* / diagnosis
  • Schizophrenia* / physiopathology
  • Sex Factors
  • Space Perception*