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High estradiol levels improve false memory rates and meta-memory in highly schizotypal women.

Hodgetts, Sophie and Hausmann, Markus and Weis, Susanne (2015) 'High estradiol levels improve false memory rates and meta-memory in highly schizotypal women.', Psychiatry research., 229 (3). pp. 708-714.


Overconfidence in false memories is often found in patients with schizophrenia and healthy participants with high levels of schizotypy, indicating an impairment of meta-cognition within the memory domain. In general, cognitive control is suggested to be modulated by natural fluctuations in oestrogen. However, whether oestrogen exerts beneficial effects on meta-memory has not yet been investigated. The present study sought to provide evidence that high levels of schizotypy are associated with increased false memory rates and overconfidence in false memories, and that these processes may be modulated by natural differences in estradiol levels. Using the Deese–Roediger–McDermott paradigm, it was found that highly schizotypal participants with high estradiol produced significantly fewer false memories than those with low estradiol. No such difference was found within the low schizotypy participants. Highly schizotypal participants with high estradiol were also less confident in their false memories than those with low estradiol; low schizotypy participants with high estradiol were more confident. However, these differences only approached significance. These findings suggest that the beneficial effect of estradiol on memory and meta-memory observed in healthy participants is specific to highly schizotypal individuals and might be related to individual differences in baseline dopaminergic activity.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Oestrogen, Cognitive disorganisation, Knowledge corruption, False recognition.
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Publisher statement:NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Psychiatry Research. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Psychiatry Research, Volume 229, Issue 3, 30 October 2015, Pages 708-714, 10.1016/j.psychres.2015.08.016.
Date accepted:10 August 2015
Date deposited:21 August 2015
Date of first online publication:10 August 2015
Date first made open access:10 August 2016

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