Implicit Memory for Spatial Context in Depression and Schizophrenia

Dominique Lamy*, Anat Goshen-Kosover, Neta Aviani, Hagai Harari, Hilik Levkovitz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Deficits in explicit spatial memory, as well as abnormalities of the hippocampus and neighboring medial temporal structures, have been documented in schizophrenia and depression. Recent evidence relying on the contextual cueing paradigm has shown that integrity of these structures is crucial not only for explicit memory but also for implicit spatial memory. Using this paradigm, the authors show that implicit memory for spatial context is severely impaired in clinically depressed patients but reaches a normal level in schizophrenia patients, although in these patients, acquisition is slower than in controls. By contrast, implicit memory for isolated locations and colors is normal in both schizophrenia and depressed patients. These findings suggest an implicit memory impairment specific to spatial context in depression. The implications for research on the differences between schizophrenia and depression in abnormalities of the hippocampal system and for research on the neural correlates of contextual cueing are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)954-961
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Abnormal Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2008


  • contextual cueing
  • implicit spatial memory
  • schizophrenia
  • unipolar depression
  • visual search


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