Social Cognition in Schizophrenia: An NIMH Workshop on Definitions, Assessment, and Research Opportunities

Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, USA.
Schizophrenia Bulletin (Impact Factor: 8.45). 02/2008; 34(6):1211-20. DOI: 10.1093/schbul/sbm145
Source: PubMed


Social cognition has become a high priority area for the study of schizophrenia. However, despite developments in this area, progress remains limited by inconsistent terminology and differences in the way social cognition is measured. To address these obstacles, a consensus-building meeting on social cognition in schizophrenia was held at the National Institute of Mental Health in March 2006. Agreement was reached on several points, including definitions of terms, the significance of social cognition for schizophrenia research, and suggestions for future research directions. The importance of translational interdisciplinary research teams was emphasized. The current article presents a summary of these discussions.

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    • "In support of this notion, substantial ToM impairments has been reported in first-episode psychosis and individuals at ultrahigh risk for psychosis, as well as in unaffected first-degree relatives of schizophrenia (Bora & Pantelis, 2013). Importantly, ToM was suggested to be one of the most relevant factors in predicting functional outcome in patients with schizophrenia (Green et al., 2008). The Awareness of Social Inference Test (TASIT) is an ecologically valid measure that was developed to assess several key components of social cognition (recognition of emotions, sarcasm, or deception , and ToM) in the form of videotaped vignettes of everyday situations enacted by professional actors. "
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of comorbid obsessive-compulsive symptoms (OCS) on the perception of insincere speech (e.g., sarcasm and white lies) in patients with first-episode psychosis. Participants were 65 patients with nonaffective first-episode psychosis (FEP) and 47 healthy controls. The patient group was divided into two subgroups, those with (FEP+; n= 38) and those without OCS (FEP-; n = 27). The ability to process sarcasm and lie was assessed with the Perception of Social Inference Test (PESIT). Severity of psychotic symptoms and OCS was assessed with the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) and the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS), respectively. Deficits in the perception of sarcasm and lie were confirmed in patients with nonaffective first-episode psychosis compared to healthy controls. In patients, comorbidity with OCS was associated with worse performance on certain aspects of insincere speech (i.e., lie) compared to FEP- patients. Y-BOCS scores correlated significantly with the perception of lying. The cognitive factor of the PANSS predicted accuracy on the perception of sincere speech, paradoxical sarcasm, and white lies, while the presence of OCS predicted accuracy on the perception of sincere speech and white lies. Our finding of impaired counterfactual information processing in patients with first-episode psychosis suggests that these deficits are already present at illness onset. Presence of OCS appears to have additional deleterious effects on the successful interpretation of intentional lying, further supporting that these patients are characterized by more extensive cognitive impairment.
    Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology 10/2015; 37(8):842-52. DOI:10.1080/13803395.2015.1064863 · 2.08 Impact Factor
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    • "Individuals with major depressive disorder (MDD) have reported pervasive impairments in cognitive functioning, including difficulties in attention (Douglas and Porter, 2009; Rock et al., 2013), memory loss (McDermott and Ebmeier, 2009), reduced psychomotor functioning (Sobin and Sackeim, 1997; Lecrubier, 2006) and social cognition (Tse and Bond, 2004). Social cognition can be defined as the mental operations that underlie social interactions, including perceiving, interpreting, and generating responses to the intentions, dispositions, and behaviors of others (Green et al., 2008). This can include emotion-processing, theory of mind, and social perception and knowledge. "
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of the present study was to investigate the social cognitive functioning of participants with depression when compared with healthy controls, and to assess the impact of symptom severity. One hundred and eight patients with depression (66 remitted and 42 current) and 52 healthy controls were assessed using the Wechsler Advanced Clinical Solutions: Social Perception Subtest, measuring facial affect recognition in isolation and in combination with prosody and body language interpretation. When healthy controls, remitted depression and currently depressed groups were compared, no associations were found on any of the social cognition subscales. Severity of depressive and anxious symptoms predicted performance on all social cognition subscales in currently depressed participants, controlling for age, gender, education and psychotropic medication. Affective depressive symptoms were inversely related to ACS Pairs and Prosody subscales, while somatic symptoms were inversely related to the ACS Affect Recognition and Total scores. There was no association between severity and the WAIS ACS in remitted depression participants. People with MDD exhibiting more severe depressive and anxious symptoms and a cluster of affective symptoms have greater difficulty undertaking complex social cognitive tasks. Given the state like nature to these deficits, these impairments may cause problems with day to day functioning and have implications in targeted therapeutic interventions.
    Frontiers in Psychology 08/2015; 6:1118. DOI:10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01118 · 2.80 Impact Factor
    • "2.2.2. Social cognition Consistent with recommendations of the Measurement and Treatment Research to Improve Cognition in Schizophrenia (MA- TRICS) New Approaches Conference (Green et al., 2005) and the National Institute of Mental Health sponsored meeting " Social Cognition in Schizophrenia: Basic Definitions, Methods of Assessment , and Research Opportunities " (Green et al., 2008 "
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    ABSTRACT: Understanding the complex relationship among determinants of real-world functioning in schizophrenia patients in remission is important in planning recovery-oriented interventions. We explored two path-analytical models of functioning in schizophrenia. 170 Schizophrenia patients remitted from positive symptoms underwent fairly comprehensive assessments of cognition - neurocognition (NC) and social cognition (SC), residual symptoms - insight, motivation and other negative symptoms, and socio-occupational functioning. We explored (a) a cascading model, where NC predicted functional outcome through its effects on other determinants and (b) a combined model, incorporating additional direct paths from each of the determinants. The combined model, and not the cascading model demonstrated a good fit. Post-hoc trimming of the combined model by elimination of non-significant paths maintained the goodness-of-fit and was retained as the final model. In addition to the direct paths, this final model demonstrated that (a) NC influenced functioning through SC and insight and (b) SC influenced functioning through motivation and negative symptoms. This suggests that NC and SC may influence functional outcome directly, as well as indirectly, via specific impact on insight, and motivation and negative symptoms respectively. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
    07/2015; 229(1-2). DOI:10.1016/j.psychres.2015.07.022
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