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Korean J Schizophr Res > Volume 15(2); 2012 > Article
Korean Journal of Schizophrenia Research 2012;15(2):59-65.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.16946/kjsr.2012.15.2.59    Published online October 31, 2012.
The Characteristics of Associative Learning of Reward Approach and Loss Aversion in Schizophrenia.
Sunyoung Park, Seok Hyeong Kim, Il Ho Park, Jung Hwan Kim, Jae Jin Kim, Min Seong Koo, Jungeun Song
1Department of Psychiatry, Myongji Hospital, Kwandong University College of Medicine, Goyang, Korea. eihpark@gmail.com
2Department of Psychiatry, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
3Institute of Behavioral Science, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
Schizophrenia patients have deficits of prediction and learning related to dopaminergic dysfunction. It is hypothesized that there would be different characteristics in associative learning of reward approach and loss aversion between controls and patients.
Participants were 23 healthy participants and 20 out-patients fulfilling criteria for schizophrenia according DSM-IV-TR. Using a monetary incentive contingency reversal task, successful learning rates, numbers of trials and errors till learning, numbers of trials of maintaining learning, response times were measured. Characteristics of learning were compared between controls and patients.
Physical anhedonia and PANSS negative symptom scores correlated with the number of trials while loss aversion was maintained. Overall correct response rates were decreased in patient group, particularly during reward approach learning. Patients required more trials and errors to learn reward approach than controls. There were no significant differences in learning performance and reaction times between groups during loss avoidance learning.
These results support previous reports of deficits in reward-driven learning in schizophrenia. However, anhedonia and negative symptoms were associated with the preserved function of loss avoidance learning.
Key Words: Schizophrenia · Reinforcement · Reward learning · Negative symptoms · Anhedonia


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