The effect of training intensity on implicit learning rates in schizophrenia

Natasza D. Orlov*, Jessica Sanderson, Syed Ali Muqtadir, Anastasia K. Kalpakidou, Panayiota G. Michalopoulou, Jie Lu, Sukhi S. Shergill

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cognitive impairments in learning and memory are core symptoms of schizophrenia, associated with reduced self-reported quality of life. The most effective treatment of cognitive impairments is drill and practice cognitive training. Still, to date no study has investigated the effect of varying the frequency of training on cognitive outcomes. Here we utilized a verbal memory based language learning task, tapping into implicit cognitive processes, to investigate the role of training intensity on learning rates in individuals with schizophrenia. Data from 47 participants across two studies was utilized, one with a daily training regimen over 5 days and the other with a more intensive schedule of 5 sessions delivered over 2 days. The primary outcome measure was the change in implicit learning performance across five sessions, quantified with the Matthews Correlation Coefficient (MCC). Participants in the daily training group showed improved performance compared to the intensive group only at session 4. This is the first study to show that implicit learning rates are influenced by training intensity, with daily sessions outperforming a more intensive regimen; a period of consolidation overnight may be necessary to optimize cognitive training for individuals with schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6511
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


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