Investigation of cognition in schizophrenia: psychometric properties of instruments for assessing working memory updating

Investigação da cognição na esquizofrenia: propriedades psicométricas de instrumentos para avaliação de atualização da memória de trabalho

Arthur A. Berberian Ary Gadelha Natália M. Dias Tatiana P. Mecca Rodrigo A. Bressan Acioly T. Lacerda About the authors


This study describes the development of two updating measures of working memory (WM): Letter Updating Test (LUT) and Word Updating Test (WUT).


In stage 1, items were created and the instruments were assessed by experts and laymen. In stage 2, tests were given to 15 patients with schizophrenia and 15 paired controls. All were able to understand and respond to the instruments. In stage 3, 141 patients with schizophrenia and 119 healthy controls aged 18 to 60 took part; they were assessed on WM, processing speed (PS) and functional outcome.


The results showed adequate rates of internal consistency for both measures developed, for both the total sample and each group separately, as well as evidence of convergent validity, discriminant validity and sensitivity to differentiate performance among the groups. Principal component analysis yielded two components, one for updating tests and other for PS measures, indicating factorial validity. Positive and significant, yet low, correlations were found with functionality measures.


These results provide adequate psychometric parameters for the measures developed, applicable to cognitive research settings in schizophrenia.

Cognition; working memory; updating; schizophrenia; neuropsychology

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