Nathan Faivre,* PhD; Matthieu Roger,* MD; Michael Pereira, PhD; Vincent de Gardelle, PhD; Jean-Christophe Vergnaud, PhD; Christine Passerieux, MD, PhD; Paul Roux, MD, PhD
Background: Metacognition is the set of reflexive processes that allows humans to evaluate the accuracy of their mental operations. Metacognitive deficits have been described in people with schizophrenia using mostly narrative assessment, and they have been linked to several key symptoms.
Methods: We assessed metacognitive performance objectively by asking people with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder (n = 20) and matched healthy participants (n = 21) to perform a visual discrimination task and report their confidence in their performance. Metacognitive performance was defined as the adequacy between visual discrimination performance and confidence.
Results: Bayesian analyses revealed equivalent metacognitive performance in the 2 groups, despite a weaker association between confidence and trajectory tracking during task execution among people with schizophrenia. We reproduced these results using an evidence accumulation model, which showed similar decisional processes in the 2 groups.
Limitations: These results from a relatively small study sample cannot be generalized to other perceptual and nonperceptual tasks. To meet this purpose, ecological tasks are needed. As well, the role of antipsychotic medication and design deserves greater attention in the future.
Conclusion: We found similar decisional and metacognitive capabilities between people with schizophrenia and healthy controls in a visual discrimination task.
*These authors contributed equally to this paper.
Submitted Jan. 31, 2020; Revised Jun. 5, 2020; Accepted Jun. 9, 2020; Early-released Sept. 24, 2020
Acknowledgments: The authors thank Eric Brunet for his pertinent comments about the interpretation of our results, and Elisa Filevich and Lucien Gyger for helpful comments on our manuscript. We are also grateful to Laure Morisset at Versailles Hospital for her institutional support. We thank three anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments.
Affiliations: From the Université Grenoble Alpes, Grenoble, France (Faivre, Pereira); the Centre d’Economie de la Sorbonne, Paris, France (Faivre, de Gardelle, Vergnaud); the Université Paris-Saclay, Université Versailles Saint-Quentin-En-Yvelines, INSERM UMR1018, Centre de recherche en Épidémiologie et Santé des Populations, Equipe DevPsy, Villejuif, France (Roger, Passerieux, Roux); the Centre Hospitalier de Versailles, Service Hospitalo-Universitaire de psychiatrie d’adultes et d’addictologie, Le Chesnay, France (Roger, Passerieux, Roux); and the Fondation Fondamental, Créteil, France (Passerieux, Roux).
Competing interests: None declared.
Funding: This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No 803122)
Contributors: N. Faivre, M. Roger, J.-C. Vergnaud, and P. Roux designed the study. N. Faivre, M. Roger and P. Roux acquired the data, which N. Faivre, M. Roger, M. Pereira, V. de Gardelle, C. Passerieux and P. Roux analyzed. N. Faivre, M. Roger and P. Roux wrote the article, which all authors reviewed. All authors approved the final version to be published and can certify that no other individuals not listed as authors have made substantial contributions to the paper.
Data sharing: Experimental paradigm, anonymized data and analysis scripts are available online: https://osf.io/84wqp.
Content licence: This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided that the original publication is properly cited, the use is non-commercial (i.e. research or educational use), and no modifications or adaptations are made. See: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
Correspondence to: N. Faivre, Laboratoire de Psychologie et Neurocognition, CNRS UMR 5105, UGA BSHM, 1251 Avenue Centrale, 38058 Grenoble Cedex 9, France; firstname.lastname@example.org.