The current study aimed to provide evidence for the context-memory hypothesis, which proposes that schizophrenia is linked to a deficit in retrieving contextual information and in binding the different components of a memory together. A new task was developed in which memory for the content of events could be assessed in conjunction with memory for both source and temporal information. Forty-three patients with schizophrenia and 24 normal controls took part in the study. Patients were found to be less accurate in identifying the source and temporal context of events. Furthermore, whereas controls tended to identify correctly both source and temporal context of events, patients tended to have a more fractionated recollection of those events. The study provides support for the context-memory hypothesis by demonstrating that patients with schizophrenia show a fundamental deficit in binding contextual cues together to form a coherent representation of an event in memory. © 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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