Confidence in visual detection, familiarity and recollection judgements is preserved in schizophrenia spectrum disorder


An effective way to quantify metacognitive performance is to ask participants to estimate their confidence in the accuracy of their response during a cognitive task. A recent meta-analysis raised the issue that most assessments of metacognitive performance in schizophrenia spectrum disorders may be confounded with cognitive deficits, which are known to be present in this population. Therefore, it remains unclear whether the reported metacognitive deficits are metacognitive in nature or rather inherited from cognitive deficits. Arbitrating between these two possibilities requires equating task performance between experimental groups. Here, we aimed to characterize metacognitive performance among individuals with schizophrenia across three tasks (visual detection, familiarity, recollection) using a within-subject design while controlling experimentally for intra-individual task performance and statistically for between-subject task performance. In line with our hypotheses, we found no metacognitive deficit for visual detection and familiarity judgments. While we expected metacognition for recollection to be specifically impaired among individuals with schizophrenia, we found evidence in favor of an absence of a deficit in that domain also. We found no specific metacognitive deficit in schizophrenia spectrum disorder in the visual or memory domain. The clinical relevance of our findings is discussed in light of a hierarchical framework of metacognition.