Subjective rating of working memory is associated with frontal lobe volume in schizophrenia

Matthew A. Garlinghouse, Robert M. Roth, Peter K. Isquith, Laura A. Flashman, Andrew J. Saykin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Background: Patients with schizophrenia commonly show deficits in working memory on objective neuropsychological measures, and brain imaging studies have documented neural abnormalities during performance of working memory tasks. It remains unclear to what extent such patients are able to accurately gauge the integrity of their working memory in their daily lives. Aims: We evaluated the relationship between subjective rating of working memory integrity in daily life and volumes of the frontal, temporal, and parietal lobes in patients with schizophrenia. Methods: Participants included 29 patients with schizophrenia and 26 healthy comparison subjects. Participants completed a structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, the Self Report form of the Behavioral Rating Inventory of Executive Function - Adult version (BRIEF-A), and Digit Span Backwards as an objective measure of working memory. Lobar volumes were obtained using an automated processing package and adjusted for total intracranial volume. Results: The patient group reported worse working memory in daily life, and performed worse on Digit Span Backwards, than the comparison group. Within the patient group, poorer working memory in daily life was associated with smaller left and right frontal lobe volumes. Shorter backwards digit span was associated with smaller left frontal and left and right temporal lobe volumes. Conclusions: The significant relationship between frontal lobe volumes and subjective working memory in daily life provides some support for the validity of self report measures of cognitive functioning in patients with schizophrenia, and provides further evidence for a contribution of frontal lobe abnormality to executive dysfunction in the illness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-75
Number of pages5
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Jul 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Frontal lobe
  • MRI
  • Schizophrenia
  • Subjective
  • Working memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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