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See detailSelves Impairment in Bipolar Disorder through Self-Concept Clarity, Self-Defining Memories and Self-Esteem
Wagener, Aurélie ULg; Boulanger, Marie ULg; Van Limbergen, Coralie et al

Poster (2014, January 13)

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See detailDepression and autobiographical memory: which are the characteristics of depressed patients' self-defining memories?
Wagener, Aurélie ULg; Weigend, Alicia; Boulanger, Marie ULg et al

Poster (2014, January 13)

BACKGROUND. Depressed patients suffer from autobiographical memory deficits. Indeed, depressed patients present an overgeneralization and a mood congruence biases. Moreover, they seem to have difficulties ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND. Depressed patients suffer from autobiographical memory deficits. Indeed, depressed patients present an overgeneralization and a mood congruence biases. Moreover, they seem to have difficulties to recall positive memories. Our aim is to focus on a specific kind of memories called “self-defining memories” (SDM) which are highly pertinent for self-building. Their characteristics (e.g. specificity, meaning making) were assessed and compared to those of healthy subjects. HYPOTHESES. Depressed patients relate less specific and meaning making events than control group. A mood congruence bias is observed. METHOD. 17 depressed patients and 18 healthy subjects fulfilled SDM exercises: subjects were asked to relate six important events that happened in their life. These SDM were assessed on several variables: specificity, impact, meaning making, contain. Moreover, subjects were assessed on depression severity and self-esteem (explicit and implicit). RESULTS. No difference between depressed patients and healthy subjects has been found for specificity. A marginal effect appeared for meaning making: control group seemed to relate more meaning making events than depressed patients. Depressed patients related more negative events than control group: this negative emotional valence was positively correlated with higher depression severity. Depressed subjects presented a lower explicit self-esteem than healthy subjects but no difference has been found for implicit self-esteem. Higher explicit self-esteem was positively correlated with positive emotional valence of SDM. DISCUSSION. Results partially support our hypotheses. Experimental and clinical implications of our results will be discussed. [less ▲]

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See detailStabilité et clarté du concept de soi : Comment se caractérise l'identité des patients dépressifs ?
Wagener, Aurélie ULg; Weigend, Alicia; Boulanger, Marie ULg et al

Poster (2013, November 16)

BACKGROUND. Depression is a psychopathology that affects many people (33.4 million every year in Europe). Depressed patients may demonstrate large variations in the evaluation of themselves (instability ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND. Depression is a psychopathology that affects many people (33.4 million every year in Europe). Depressed patients may demonstrate large variations in the evaluation of themselves (instability of self-esteem and of self-efficacy). In addition, it has been demonstrated that, in the general population, negative feelings and emotions are positively correlated with the volatility of self-representations. However, no study has assessed the stability of personal identity in depressed patients. Some researchers have nevertheless shown that changes in personality traits are observable in the development of depressive disorder. HYPTHESES. Depressed patients’ description of their traits of personality varies depending on the mood phases crossings unlike that of control subjects who remained stable. METHOD. Depressed patients (N = 17, M age = 51) were compared to control subjects (N = 18, M age = 47). Severity of depressive symptoms (BDI -II), implicit (name - letter task) and explicit (CSR) self-esteem, stability of identity and self-concept clarity were assessed. RESULTS. Depressed patients have a self-perception less stable than control subjects and a lower clarity of identity. The severity of depressive symptoms was positively correlated with poorer clarity of identity. DISCUSSION. These results support our hypothesis. Experimental and clinical perspectives of these will be discussed. [less ▲]

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See detailOvergenerality Memory Style for Past and Future Events and Emotions Related in Bipolar Disorder. What are the Links with Problem Solving and Interpersonal Relationships?
Boulanger, Marie ULg; Lejeune, Aurélie; Blairy, Sylvie ULg

in Psychiatry Research (2013), 210(3), 863-870

This study investigated patients with Bipolar Disorder’s abilities to generate specific past and future events in response to positive and negative cues words as well as emotional intensity related to ... [more ▼]

This study investigated patients with Bipolar Disorder’s abilities to generate specific past and future events in response to positive and negative cues words as well as emotional intensity related to these ones. The relationships between the number of generated specific events cognitive functioning, interpersonal problems and the ability to problem solving were investigated. Nineteen BD and nineteen healthy controls completed a French version of the AMT to evaluate the past and future events recall, in function of their valence, and emotions related. Furthermore, they completed the Optional Thinking Test, the Inventory of Interpersonal Problems and the neuropsychological measures. Compared to healthy controls, BD recollected (1) fewer specific past negative events and (2) fewer future specific positive and negative events furthermore, (3) they felt more emotional intensity related to future events. These results were explained in the light of theoretical models. Finally, specific past memories deficits in BD were linked with issues in problem solving but not with levels of distress arising from interpersonal problems. In view of AM functions in everyday life, all types of deficits should be taken into consideration, and AM remediation envisaged. [less ▲]

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See detailIdentity in schizophrenia: A study of trait self-knowledge
Boulanger, Marie ULg; Dethier, Marie ULg; Gendre, Francis et al

in Psychiatry Research (2013), 209(3), 367-374

Identity results from interlock of two systems which are a set of abstracted representations about oneself and a phenomenological self. Literature highlights identity disturbance in schizophrenia that ... [more ▼]

Identity results from interlock of two systems which are a set of abstracted representations about oneself and a phenomenological self. Literature highlights identity disturbance in schizophrenia that affects each of both systems. In the same vein, the present study investigates the stability and the quality of traits self-knowledge, a component of abstracted representations of self, in schizophrenia patients. Sixty-eight patients with schizophrenia and 68 healthy control subjects completed a short version of a personality scale (LABEL). This scale is composed of two versions (A and B), each comprising 50 adjectives that correspond to synonymous adjectives in the alternate list. Participants indicated how these adjectives described themselves and completed both versions of the scale on two separate occasions, one month apart. The findings showed that schizophrenic patients presented an unstable identity and change in identity quality compared with healthy subjects. However, this identity disturbance was weaker than expected. These results are discussed in a part of autobiographical memory disturbances in schizophrenia, illness duration and the decompensation stage. [less ▲]

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See detailMental Time Travel in First Degree Relatives of Schizophrenia Patients
Boulanger, Marie ULg; Wagener, Aurélie ULg; Duke, Géraldine et al

Poster (2013, July 23)

Introduction. Genetic and environmental factors are important to explain the causation of schizophrenia. The families’ studies can help us to better understand the genetic influence. Indeed, the cognitive ... [more ▼]

Introduction. Genetic and environmental factors are important to explain the causation of schizophrenia. The families’ studies can help us to better understand the genetic influence. Indeed, the cognitive deficits found in the unaffected biological relatives of schizophrenia patients parallel the deficits found in patients. These deficits might be putative endophenotypic markers of schizophrenia, ie. characteristics that mark the presence of a genetic predisposition to a certain disease or disability, in this case, the schizophrenia (Sitskoorn et al., 2004). In this way, previous studies reported that compared to healthy controls (HC), the relatives show cognitive impairments that are similar but milder degree than those of schizophrenia patients (SCh). The deficits affect cognitive functions such as verbal memory, attention and executive function; hence the interests to take into account the endophenotypic markers. To our knowledge, no study has yet assessed the abilities to mental time travel in the relatives despite that this cognitive function is impairment in SCh (Cuervo-Lombard et al., 2007; D’argembeau et al., 2008; Wood and Brewin, 2006). The mental time travel allows individuals both to retrieve past personal autobiographical information and to project into future personal events. Further, it is related to the continuity and the stability of identity, which has also been described as fragmented instable or discontinuous in SCh (Boulanger et al., submitted; deBonis et al., 1995; Nieznanski, 2004). Consequently, the ability to mental time travel could be a relevant endophenotypic marker. Method. 31 SCh, 33 relatives and 31 HC generated both ten past memories and ten future events in response to cue words from TeMA (a French version of AMT). In parallel, they completed cognitive tests, such as the Stroop Color-Word Test, the Trail Making Test, the Digit Span Backward and Forward Test (WAIS-III) and questionnaires which evaluated mood disturbances such as BDI-II and STAI-Y. Finally, participants were asked to respond to a short version of LABEL, which measured identity stability. Results. SCh showed deficits on all measures in comparison to HC. However no significant differences emerged between relatives and HC on measures of time travel. Nevertheless, differences were found for interference score (Stroop-Color-Words Test) and score on part B from TMT, as well as relatives and SCh. Discussion. Despite the fact that the majority of the relatives’ scores on different measures are not significant in comparison to HC and SCh, their results situated between the results of both groups. These results are discussed in the light of previous research. [less ▲]

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See detailSelf-Defining Memories and Identity in Schizophrenia: Preliminary Results.
Boulanger, Marie ULg; Marchal Laurie; Blairy, Sylvie ULg

Poster (2013, March 18)

The reciprocal relationship between autobiographical memory (AM) and identity is well known. In schizophrenia, there is evidence that both identity and AM are impaired. Indeed, identity has been described ... [more ▼]

The reciprocal relationship between autobiographical memory (AM) and identity is well known. In schizophrenia, there is evidence that both identity and AM are impaired. Indeed, identity has been described as fragmented, instable or still discontinuous in these patients (Boulanger et al., submitted; deBonis et al., 1995; Nieznanski, 2004). Further, schizophrenia patients’ (SCh) AM impairments were described as difficulties to retrieve specific memories (Cuervo-Lombard et al., 2007; D’argembeau et al., 2008; Neumann et al., 2007; Wood et al., 2006). SCh have specificity impairment for mill run autobiographical memories (AMs) and also, for AMs particularly important for construction and continuity to identity as self-defining memories (SDMs; Benounna-Greene, 2001; Raffard et al., 2009, 2010; Robinson and Taylor, 1998). SDMs have been particularly relevant in understanding the relationship between the identity and AM. Identity emerges during late adolescence and early adulthood period called “remimiscence bump period” because, it is characterized by a profusion of recalled memories in comparison to others periods of life span. Possibly, many memories from this period are of SDMs (Singer & Salovey, 1993) and have a powerful effect in binding the identity to a specific reality. Consequently, we supposed that identity impairments showed by SCch are related to SDMs deficits. 19 SCh and 19 healthy controls paired participated to this study. They were asked to give ten enduring “I am” statements that they felt “defined their identity.” Then, they selected the three statements among the ten, which are the “most personally significant to their sense of identity”. They were asked to recall three SDMs by each of three statements selected. Afterwards, they were asked to give: (1) their age for each statement when they felt it was a significant part of their identity, (2) their age at the time that the remembered event occurred. In parallel, the participants were completed neuropsychological measures, BDI-II, PANSS and, an identity stability measure. The results are discussed on the light of previous research [less ▲]

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See detailUne étude de la vulnérabilité cognitive des parents au premier degré de patients schizophrènes
Wagener, Aurélie ULg; Duke, Géraldine; Xhenseval, Laure et al

in Revue Francophone de Clinique Comportementale et Cognitive (2012, December), XVII(4), 53

Schizophrenic patients and their first-degree relatives suffer from cognitive deficits in different area (memory, executive, attentional and language functions) which allows us to consider these deficits ... [more ▼]

Schizophrenic patients and their first-degree relatives suffer from cognitive deficits in different area (memory, executive, attentional and language functions) which allows us to consider these deficits as endophenotypes of schizophrenia. Schizophrenic patients also suffer from a lack of autobiographical memory and instability of identity: our study aims to determine whether this deficit and this instability are endophenotypes of schizophrenia. In order to reach this objective, we evaluated first-degree relatives. The results show that first-degree relatives suffer from cognitive deficits but, contrary to our hypotheses, not any deficit of specificity or instability of identity have been highlighted among these parents. [less ▲]

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See detailUne étude de la vulnérabilité cognitive des parents au premier degré de patients schizophrènes
Wagener, Aurélie ULg; Duke, Géraldine; Xhenseval, Laure et al

Poster (2012, November 24)

Les patients schizophrènes et leurs parents au premier degré présentent des déficits cognitifs dans différents domaines (mémoire, fonctions exécutives, attentionnelles et langagières) ce qui permet de ... [more ▼]

Les patients schizophrènes et leurs parents au premier degré présentent des déficits cognitifs dans différents domaines (mémoire, fonctions exécutives, attentionnelles et langagières) ce qui permet de considérer ces déficits comme des endophénotypes de la schizophrénie. Les patients schizophrènes souffrent aussi d’un déficit en mémoire autobiographique et d’une instabilité de l’identité : l’objectif de notre étude est de déterminer si ce déficit et cette instabilité sont des endophénotypes de la schizophrénie. Pour ce faire, nous avons évalué des parents au premier degré. Les résultats mettent en évidence des déficits cognitifs chez les parents au premier degré mais, contrairement à ce que nous attendions, nous n’observons pas de déficit de spécifique et d’instabilité de l’identité chez ces parents. [less ▲]

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See detailSelf-Awareness Therapy (SAT): résultats préliminaires
Boulanger, Marie ULg

Conference (2012, June 08)

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See detailUne thérapie destinée aux patients schizophrènes - Self-Awareness Therapy (SAT): Résultats préliminaires
Boulanger, Marie ULg; Pauly, Marc; Nachtergael, Hilde et al

Poster (2011)

Objective: Autonoetic awareness enables to mentally relive personal events in memory to be aware of one’s own experiences across subjective time and so to have a feeling of individuality and self ... [more ▼]

Objective: Autonoetic awareness enables to mentally relive personal events in memory to be aware of one’s own experiences across subjective time and so to have a feeling of individuality and self-direction. It is intimately associated with our awareness of ourselves as persons with a past and a future. Autonoetic awareness thereof contributes to construction of our identity by the recovery of past events, particularly specific events, and the imagination of future events. According to Danion’s theoretical model (2001), autonoetic awareness impairment is at the heart of schizophrenia. This deficit should depend on defective associations between separate aspects of the events during the recall and therefore, it is associated with a reduction in accessing specific information in autobiographical memory (AM). This impairment should explain identity perturbation, cognitive deficits, negative and positive symptomatology present in schizophrenia. Supporting this model, the present study evaluates the effect of a cognitive and behavioural intervention called Self-Awareness Therapy (SAT) on autonoetic awareness, AM and the capacity to imagine oneself in the future, in schizophrenia patients. Method: Fifteen patients with schizophrenia participated to SAT and, 8 patients took part in the Integrative Program Therapy (IPT) of Brenner. Before and after therapy, patients were asked to complete questionnaires to evaluate the autonoetic awareness, AM, projection into the future as well as affective and symptomatology scales. Results: For SAT, the participants reported more specific past and future events after than before the remediation therapy. Furthermore, patients reported significantly less depressive and anxiety symptoms as well as less negative symptoms after compared before the SAT. For IPT, no significant differences emerged. Discussion: These results are in line with previous study (Blairy et al., 2008) and support the notion that, in schizophrenia the retrieving of past specifics memories and projection into the future can be improved. La conscience autonoétique (CA) nous permet de revivre mentalement des évènements personnellement vécus, d’en prendre conscience à travers un temps subjectif et de ressentir un sentiment d’individualité. Elle contribue à la construction de notre identité via la récupération d’évènements passés, particulièrement les évènements spécifiques, et l’imagination d’évènements futurs. Selon le modèle de Danion (2001), une perturbation au niveau de la CA serait au cœur de la schizophrénie. Celle-ci résulterait d’un relâchement des associations entre les différents éléments d’un évènement lors du rappel et dés lors, serait associée à une réduction de l’accès aux informations spécifiques en mémoire autobiographique. Cette perturbation pourrait expliquer les troubles de l’identité, les déficits cognitifs ainsi que la symptomatologie présents dans la schizophrénie. Afin de remédier à ces déficits, nous avons élaboré une intervention cognitive et comportementale, destinée à des patients schizophrènes, qui s’appuie sur ce modèle. Cette étude présente les résultats préliminaires de la SAT en la comparant au 1er module du programme IPT. [less ▲]

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See detailOvergenerality Bias and these Consequences in Borderline Personality Disorder.
Boulanger, Marie ULg; Smets, Virginie; Blairy, Sylvie ULg

Poster (2010, June)

Objective: The present study investigated the Autobiographical Memory (AM) in borderline disorder population. AM is an entity that encompasses the individuals’past personnal experiences. Previous ... [more ▼]

Objective: The present study investigated the Autobiographical Memory (AM) in borderline disorder population. AM is an entity that encompasses the individuals’past personnal experiences. Previous researches have shown disturbances in AM among several psychiatric disorders such as depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. This disturbances take the overgeneral retrieving form. Thus, when patients were asked to retrieve a specific event located in time and place, they recalled an overgeneral event. This deficit is not an isolated phenomen. Indeed the researches showed that AM deficits is related to decreasing of the ability to solve interpersonnal problem (Evans et al., 1992; Goddard et al., 1996) and impairments to project onself into the specific future events (D’argembeau et al., 2008; Williams et al., 1996). Impairments to respond adequately to social problems or to concrete plans for the future create hopelessness and to contribute to suicide attempt (Arie et al., 2008). Given the high risk of suicide or suicide attempts present in the Bordeline Personnality Disorder (BPD), consideration of AM in this population is appropriate. The aim of the present study was investigate the AM, the projection into the future and the problem solving in patients suffering from BPD. Method: 21 subjects BPD and 21 healthy controls participated in this study. First, the participants were asked to complete TeMA (validated French versions of AMT by Neumann & Philippot, 2006). Participants were instructed to generate specific past and future memories in response to cues words. Secondly, they were had to complete the OTT, they were asked to yield the most solutions as possible to daily problems. Finally the depression was controlled as well as neuropsychological variables. Results: The subjects with BPD recalled less specific past events and imagined less specific future events than healthy subjects (t(40) = 2.21, p = .031; t(40) = 3.4, p = .001, respectively). In addition, the number of past and future specific events was marginally correlated (r(42) = .31, p = .051). However, no difference between two groups on OTT and no correlation between past specificity and problem solving emerged. Discussion: As other clinical populations, the subjects with a BPD encounter deficits to retrieve specific past events. Moreover, these impairments are associated with deficits to imagine specific future events. Nevertheless, the ability to generate specific events was not related to the ability to solve problem. The observation of reduced specificity in the generation of autobiographical material is particularly clinically relevant. Indeed, difficulty in imagining the future may contribute to relapse. In conclusion, more systematic measure of this ability should be taken in both research and clinical fields. [less ▲]

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See detailSelf-Awareness Therapy (SAT) for Schizophrenic Patients
Boulanger, Marie ULg; Nachtergael, Hilde; Pauly, Marc et al

Poster (2010)

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See detailLa schizophrénie et les troubles psychotiques
Blairy, Sylvie ULg; Boulanger, Marie ULg

Learning material (2009)

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See detailAutobiographical memory and problem solving in bipolar disorder
Boulanger, Marie ULg; Lejeune, Aurélie; Blairy, Sylvie ULg

Poster (2009, September)

Objective: The aim of the present study was to investigate the abilities to remember specific past personal events as well as the abilities to generate specific future events in patients with bipolar ... [more ▼]

Objective: The aim of the present study was to investigate the abilities to remember specific past personal events as well as the abilities to generate specific future events in patients with bipolar disorders (BD). Moreover, the study investigated whether the abilities to generate specific events is related to the abilities to solve interpersonal problems which was measured using the Optional Thinking Test (OTT) (Platt & Spivack, 1977). Method: Nineteen patients with bipolar disorders and 17 healthy subjects completed validated French versions (Neumann & Philippot, 2006) of the AMT Williams & Broadbent (1986). Participants were instructed to generate specific past and future memories in response to cues words. For the OTT, they were asked to yield the most solutions as possible to daily problems. Results: For the past events task, the analysis revealed a significant group by memory interaction (F(2,68) = 4.0 ; p=.023) which indicates that the patients with BD recollected less specific events and more overgeneral events than controls. For the future events task, a significant group by memory interaction emerged (F(2,68) = 7.85 ; p<.001) which indicates that the patients with BD were less specific and yielded more overgeneral memories than the control group. Further, the numbers of specific past and future events were correlated to the numbers of solutions to interpersonal problems (r(36) = .57 ; p<.001, r(36) = .43 ; p=.009, respectively). Conclusion: the results are consistent with previous studies that have examined autobiographical memory (AM) specificity in patients with BD (Scott et al., 2000; Mansell & Lam, 2004). These results support the notion of impairments in imagining specific past and future events BD patients. The difficulty in imagining the future may contribute to relapse. Thus, AM remediation program could be an additional useful tool to develop in CBT for bipolar patients. [less ▲]

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See detailThe self-schema stability in schizophrenia
Boulanger, Marie ULg; Dethier, Marie ULg; Jacob, Nathalie et al

Poster (2009, September)

Objective: The present study investigated the stability of the self-schema in patients with schizophrenia. Method: Twenty five patients with schizophrenia were compared to twenty healthy subjects. The ... [more ▼]

Objective: The present study investigated the stability of the self-schema in patients with schizophrenia. Method: Twenty five patients with schizophrenia were compared to twenty healthy subjects. The participants completed a questionnaire to describe themselves (a short version of Label from Gendre, 2008) at time 1 and one month later (time 2). Two parallel versions of the questionnaire were employed. Each version contained fifty adjectives which corresponded to personality traits. A comparison between the two versions allowed to investigate the stability of the self-schema. A stability score was computed. Further, participants’ neuropsychological functioning as well as the severity of the symptomatology was measured. Results: Schizophrenia patients displayed a lower score of stability (m = 0,61 ; sd= 0,33) compared to healthy subjects (m = 0,84 ; sd = 0,13) (t(43) = 2.94 ; p = .005). The BDI score was correlated to stability score (r(45) = -.44 ; p = .002). Conclusion: In schizophrenia patients the representation of the self is changing over time. This result is in line with a previous one (Nienszanski, 2003). However, to ours knowledges, the present study is the first to objectively measure this changing. [less ▲]

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See detailPast and future events specificity in bipolar disorders
Boulanger, Marie ULg; Lejeune, Aurélie; Blairy, Sylvie ULg

Poster (2009)

Previous research has shown that the individuals suffering from emotional disorders have specificity of autobiographical memory (AM) deficits. This difficulty to remember specific personal past events ... [more ▼]

Previous research has shown that the individuals suffering from emotional disorders have specificity of autobiographical memory (AM) deficits. This difficulty to remember specific personal past events seems related to difficulty to project specific oneself into the future (D’Argembeau, Raffard & Van der Linden, 2008). The aim of this study was investigated these impairments in population with bipolar disorders (BD). Participants (19 patients with bipolar disorders and 17 healthy subjects) completed validated French versions (Neumann & Philippot, 2006) of the AMT Williams & Broadbent (1986). Participants were instructed to generate specific past and future memories in response to cues words. For past events, the analyses revealed a significant group by memory interaction (F(2,68) = 4.0 ; p=.023) which indicates that the patients with BD recollected less specific events and more overgeneral events than controls. In the same way, for the future events task, a significant group by memory interaction emerged (F(2,68) = 7.85 ; p<.001) which indicates that the patients with BD were less specific and yielded more overgeneral memories than the control group. Thereby the results are consistent with previous studies that have examined autobiographical memory specificity in patients with BD (Scott et al., 2000; Mansell & Lam, 2004). However, to ours knowledges, the present study is the first to investigate specificity of AM and the abilities to generate specific events for future in patients with bipolar disorders. [less ▲]

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See detailThe effects of cognitive remediation therapy on AM deficits in schizophrenia patients
Boulanger, Marie ULg; Collet, Denis; Cornet, Lidvine et al

Poster (2008)

Schizophrenia is accompanied by deficit in autobiographical memories (AM). These impairments are correlated to difficulties in imagining specific events that might happen to them in the future ... [more ▼]

Schizophrenia is accompanied by deficit in autobiographical memories (AM). These impairments are correlated to difficulties in imagining specific events that might happen to them in the future (D’Argembeau, Raffard et Van-der-Linden, 2008). Previous study suggested that the specific autobiographical memory (past and future) may be improved by an AM remediation therapy (Blairy et al., accepted). The aim of the present study was to compare performances from individuals involved in an AM remediation intervention to individuals involved in the cognitive remediation therapy program from Brenner (IPT) (Pomini, Neis, Brenner, Hodel et Roder, 1998). The results showed that the participants tend to recall more specific events after therapies, confounded pass and future events (t(7) = 3.28 ; p = .013). These results would be promising for future research. [less ▲]

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