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      Nonsocial and social cognition in schizophrenia: current evidence and future directions

      1 , 2 , 3 , 1 , 2 , 3 , 1 , 2 , 3
      World Psychiatry
      Wiley

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          Abstract

          <p class="first" id="d1337941e206">Cognitive impairment in schizophrenia involves a broad array of nonsocial and social cognitive domains. It is a core feature of the illness, and one with substantial implications for treatment and prognosis. Our understanding of the causes, consequences and interventions for cognitive impairment in schizophrenia has grown substantially in recent years. Here we review a range of topics, including: a) the types of nonsocial cognitive, social cognitive, and perceptual deficits in schizophrenia; b) how deficits in schizophrenia are similar or different from those in other disorders; c) cognitive impairments in the prodromal period and over the lifespan in schizophrenia; d) neuroimaging of the neural substrates of nonsocial and social cognition, and e) relationships of nonsocial and social cognition to functional outcome. The paper also reviews the considerable efforts that have been directed to improve cognitive impairments in schizophrenia through novel psychopharmacology, cognitive remediation, social cognitive training, and alternative approaches. In the final section, we consider areas that are emerging and have the potential to provide future insights, including the interface of motivation and cognition, the influence of childhood adversity, metacognition, the role of neuroinflammation, computational modelling, the application of remote digital technology, and novel methods to evaluate brain network organization. The study of cognitive impairment has provided a way to approach, examine and comprehend a wide range of features of schizophrenia, and it may ultimately affect how we define and diagnose this complex disorder. </p>

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          Most cited references183

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          Empathy accounts for the naturally occurring subjective experience of similarity between the feelings expressed by self and others without loosing sight of whose feelings belong to whom. Empathy involves not only the affective experience of the other person's actual or inferred emotional state but also some minimal recognition and understanding of another's emotional state. In light of multiple levels of analysis ranging from developmental psychology, social psychology, cognitive neuroscience, and clinical neuropsychology, this article proposes a model of empathy that involves parallel and distributed processing in a number of dissociable computational mechanisms. Shared neural representations, self-awareness, mental flexibility, and emotion regulation constitute the basic macrocomponents of empathy, which are underpinned by specific neural systems. This functional model may be used to make specific predictions about the various empathy deficits that can be encountered in different forms of social and neurological disorders.
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            What are the functional consequences of neurocognitive deficits in schizophrenia?

            M. Green (1996)
            It has been well established that schizophrenic patients have neurocognitive deficits, but it is not known how these deficits influence the daily lives of patients. The goal of this review was to determine which, if any, neurocognitive deficits restrict the functioning of schizophrenic patients in the outside world. The author reviewed studies that have evaluated neurocognitive measures as predictors and correlates of functional outcome for schizophrenic patients. The review included 1) studies that have prospectively evaluated specific aspects of neurocognition and community (e.g., social and vocational) functioning (six studies), 2) all known studies of neurocognitive correlates of social problem solving (five studies), and 3) all known studies of neurocognitive correlates and predictors of psychosocial skill acquisition (six studies). Despite wide variation among studies in the selection of neurocognitive measures, some consistencies emerged. The most consistent finding was that verbal memory was associated with all types of functional outcome. Vigilance was related to social problem solving and skill acquisition. Card sorting predicted community functioning but not social problem solving. Negative symptoms were associated with social problem solving but not skill acquisition. Notably, psychotic symptoms were not significantly associated with outcome measures in any of the studies reviewed. Verbal memory and vigilance appear to be necessary for adequate functional outcome. Deficiencies in these areas may prevent patients from attaining optimal adaptation and hence act as "neurocognitive rate-limiting factors." On the basis of this review of the literature, a series of hypotheses are offered for follow-up studies.
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              A meta-analysis of cognitive remediation for schizophrenia: methodology and effect sizes.

              Cognitive remediation therapy for schizophrenia was developed to treat cognitive problems that affect functioning, but the treatment effects may depend on the type of trial methodology adopted. The present meta-analysis will determine the effects of treatment and whether study method or potential moderators influence the estimates. Electronic databases were searched up to June 2009 using variants of the key words "cognitive," "training," "remediation," "clinical trial," and "schizophrenia." Key researchers were contacted to ensure that all studies meeting the criteria were included. This produced 109 reports of 40 studies in which ≥70% of participants had a diagnosis of schizophrenia, all of whom received standard care. There was a comparison group and allocation procedure in these studies. Data were available to calculate effect sizes on cognition and/or functioning. Data were independently extracted by two reviewers with excellent reliability. Methodological moderators were extracted through the Clinical Trials Assessment Measure and verified by authors in 94% of cases. The meta-analysis (2,104 participants) yielded durable effects on global cognition and functioning. The symptom effect was small and disappeared at follow-up assessment. No treatment element (remediation approach, duration, computer use, etc.) was associated with cognitive outcome. Cognitive remediation therapy was more effective when patients were clinically stable. Significantly stronger effects on functioning were found when cognitive remediation therapy was provided together with other psychiatric rehabilitation, and a much larger effect was present when a strategic approach was adopted together with adjunctive rehabilitation. Despite variability in methodological rigor, this did not moderate any of the therapy effects, and even in the most rigorous studies there were similar small-to-moderate effects. Cognitive remediation benefits people with schizophrenia, and when combined with psychiatric rehabilitation, this benefit generalizes to functioning, relative to rehabilitation alone. These benefits cannot be attributed to poor study methods.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                World Psychiatry
                World Psychiatry
                Wiley
                1723-8617
                2051-5545
                May 06 2019
                June 2019
                May 06 2019
                June 2019
                : 18
                : 2
                : 146-161
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral SciencesUniversity of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)Los AngelesCAUSA
                [2 ]Desert Pacific Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical CenterVeterans Affairs Greater Los Angeles Healthcare SystemLos AngelesCAUSA
                [3 ]Veterans Affairs Program for Enhancing Community Integration for Homeless VeteransLos AngelesCAUSA
                Article
                10.1002/wps.20624
                6502429
                31059632
                34189af8-dc26-48fb-8847-1551599504bc
                © 2019

                http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/termsAndConditions#vor

                http://doi.wiley.com/10.1002/tdm_license_1.1

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