Conflict adaptation in patients diagnosed with schizophrenia

Elger Abrahamse, Marit Ruitenberg, Sarah Boddewyn, Edith Oreel, Maarten de Schryver, Manuel Morrens, Jean-Philippe van Dijck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Cognitive control impairments may contribute strongly to the overall cognitive deficits observed in patients diagnosed with schizophrenia. In the current study we explore a specific cognitive control function referred to as conflict adaptation. Previous studies on conflict adaptation in schizophrenia showed equivocal results, and, moreover, were plagued by confounded research designs. Here we assessed for the first time conflict adaptation in schizophrenia with a design that avoided the major confounds of feature integration and stimulus-response contingency learning. Sixteen patients diagnosed with schizophrenia and sixteen healthy, matched controls performed a vocal Stroop task to determine the congruency sequence effect - a marker of conflict adaptation. A reliable congruency sequence effect was observed for both healthy controls and patients diagnosed with schizophrenia. These findings indicate that schizophrenia is not necessarily accompanied by impaired conflict adaptation. As schizophrenia has been related to abnormal functioning in core conflict adaptation areas such as anterior cingulate and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, further research is required to better understand the precise impact of such abnormal brain functioning at the behavioral level.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)260-264
Number of pages5
JournalPsychiatry Research
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cognition
  • Cognition Disorders/psychology
  • Conflict, Psychological
  • Female
  • Gyrus Cinguli/physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prefrontal Cortex/physiopathology
  • Schizophrenic Psychology
  • Stroop Test


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