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Thesis Ramla MSHEIK


From 1 October 2021 to 30 September 2024

Computational evaluation of metacognitive deficits in schizophrenia

Metacognition is the introspective ability to assess one's own mental states, and to form confident judgments about what one knows or perceives. Metacognitive disorders are described in many psychiatric illnesses, including schizophrenia, and are thought to play a role in the emergence of delusions, social withdrawal and mental handicap. These metacognitive disorders have been described in the clinical literature mainly through subjective tests and neuropsychological questionnaires, or experimental measures that do not take into account the other cognitive deficits of patients such as memory or executive disorders. Thus, it is not clear whether the deficits observed at the metacognitive level are specific, or simply inherited from other underlying cognitive deficits. Recently, we assessed metacognitive performance by asking individuals with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder and healthy volunteers to perform a visual discrimination task and then report their confidence in their performance (Faivre et al., 2020). Metacognitive performance was defined as the match between visual discrimination performance and confidence. Bayesian analyses revealed equivalent metacognitive performance in the two groups despite a weaker association between confidence and trajectory kinetics performed with the mouse when patients performed the task. These results were replicated using an evidence accumulation model that showed similar decision-making processes in both groups. We concluded from this study that metacognitive deficits related to sensory perception in schizophrenia remain to be demonstrated experimentally.
In the course of this thesis, we wish to explore metacognitive deficits in relation to various cognitive and perceptual domains in a more systematic way, using both behavioral and electroencephalographic markers. We will evaluate metacognition for auditory perception tasks (Dondé et al., 2017), for mnemonic processes of familiarity and recollection, as well as for social cognition tasks (so-called chasing paradigm, Roux et al., 2015). Our goal is to map metacognitive deficits in schizophrenia, and thus determine whether metacognition obeys domain-general or domain-specific mechanisms (Mazancieux et al., 2020). We expect lower metacognitive performance across tasks in schizophrenia, with less association between metaperformance and predictive behavioural variables, such as reaction times and response trajectories. Thus, the metacognitive deficit in schizophrenia would be the consequence of a lesser use of behavioural cues preceding the metacognitive decision.

Supervisors :
Nathan FAIVRE - (nathan[dot]faivre[at]univ-grenoble-alpes[dot]fr)
Michael PEREIRA - (Michael[dot]pereira[at]univ-grenoble-alpes[dot]fr)

Keywords  : metacognition,schizophrenia,hallucination,


From 1 October 2021 to 30 September 2024


Submitted on 17 November 2023

Updated on 17 November 2023