Atypical semantic cognition in schizotypal personality disorder and borderline personality disorder

Lea S Petersen*, Martin Vestergaard, Maria W Meisner, Malene Foldager, Erik Simonsen

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftArtikelForskningpeer review


Increased schizotypal traits have previously been associated with atypical semantic cognition in community samples. However, no study has yet examined whether adults diagnosed with schizotypal personality disorder (SPD) display atypical semantic fluency and memory. We hypothesized that 24 adults diagnosed with SPD would name more idiosyncratic words on the semantic fluency task and show decreased semantic recall for animal and fruit category words compared with 29 participants with borderline personality disorder (BPD) and a community sample of 96 age-matched controls. We examined whether atypical semantic cognition was specifically associated with disorganized and eccentric speech and thinking, or more broadly with pathological personality traits and personality functioning. Our main hypothesis was confirmed, as the SPD participants named more idiosyncratic words and recalled fewer semantically related words compared with controls. Surprisingly, participants with BPD likewise named more atypical words compared with controls. More idiosyncratic semantic fluency was associated with more eccentric speech and thinking. Increased idiosyncratic semantic fluency and reduced semantic recall were both coupled to increased detachment and lowered personality functioning, while reduced semantic recall further was related to increased interpersonal problems. Our findings suggest that persons with SPD, and to a lesser degree BPD, show atypical semantic cognition, which is associated with eccentric speech and thinking, and more broadly with impaired personality function, social withdrawal, and emotional flatness. The idiosyncratic semantic cognition may worsen difficulties with social reciprocity seen in SPD and BPD.

Sider (fra-til)1-15
Antal sider15
TidsskriftJournal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology
StatusUdgivet, E-publikation før trykning - 4 maj 2024


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