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    ABSTRACT: The cognitive problems experienced by people with schizophrenia not only impede recovery but also interfere with treatments designed to improve overall functioning. Hence there has been a proliferation of new therapies to treat cognitive problems with the hope that improvements will benefit future intervention and recovery outcomes. Cognitive remediation therapy (CR) that relies on intensive task practice can support basic cognitive functioning but there is little evidence on how these therapies lead to transfer to real life skills. However, there is increasing evidence that CR including elements of transfer training (e.g., strategy use and problem solving schemas) produce higher functional outcomes. It is hypothesized that these therapies achieve higher transfer by improving metacognition. People with schizophrenia have metacognitive problems; these include poor self-awareness and difficulties in planning for complex tasks. This paper reviews this evidence as well as research on why metacognition needs to be explicitly taught as part of cognitive treatments. The evidence is based on research on learning spanning from neuroscience to the field of education. Learning programmes, and CRT, may be able to achieve better outcomes if they explicitly teach metacognition including metacognitive knowledge (i.e., awareness of the cognitive requirements and approaches to tasks) and metacognitive regulation (i.e., cognitive control over the different task relevant cognitive requirements). These types of metacognition are essential for successful task performance, in particular, for controlling effort, accuracy and efficient strategy use. We consider metacognition vital for the transfer of therapeutic gains to everyday life tasks making it a therapy target that may yield greater gains compared to cognition alone for recovery interventions.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · Frontiers in Psychology
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    ABSTRACT: Maternal depression and contextual risks (e.g. poverty) are known to impact children's cognitive and social functioning. However, few published studies have examined how stress in the social environment (i.e. interpersonal stress) might developmentally inter-relate with maternal depression and contextual risks to negatively affect a child in these domains. This was the purpose of the current study. Mother-child pairs (n = 6979) from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents were the study participants. Mothers reported on depression, contextual risks, and interpersonal stress between pregnancy and 33 months child age. At age 8, the children underwent cognitive assessments and the mothers reported on the children's social cognitive skills. Maternal depression, contextual risks, and interpersonal stress showed strong continuity and developmental inter-relatedness. Maternal depression and contextual risks directly predicted a range of child outcomes, including executive functions and social cognitive skills. Interpersonal stress worked indirectly via maternal depression and contextual risks to negatively affect child outcomes. Maternal depression and contextual risks each increased interpersonal stress in the household, which, in turn, contributed to reduced child cognitive and social functioning.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · Depression and Anxiety
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    ABSTRACT: Individuals with an eating disorder experience the rubber hand illusion (RHI) significantly more strongly than healthy controls on both perceptual (proprioceptive drift) and subjective (self-report embodiment questionnaire) measures. This heightened sensitivity to visual information about the body, and/or reduced somatosensory information processing about the body, suggest an increased malleability of the bodily self. The aim of the present study was to explore whether this is a state phenomenon or a persisting individual trait that outlasts the period of acute eating disorder. The RHI and self-report measures of eating disorder psychopathology (EDI-3 subscales of Drive for Thinness, Bulimia, Body Dissatisfaction, Interoceptive Deficits, and Emotional Dysregulation; DASS-21; and the Self-Objectification Questionnaire) were administered to 78 individuals with an eating disorder, 28 individuals recovered from an eating disorder, and 61 healthy controls. Proprioceptive drift in recovered individuals was intermediate between the acutely ill and HC groups. Subjective report of the strength of the illusion in recovered individuals was similar to acutely ill individuals. These results suggest that increased malleability of the bodily self persists, at least partially, following recovery and may be a trait phenomenon in people with eating disorders. Those with a lifetime history of an eating disorder may have heightened sensitivity to visual information about the body and reduced somatosensory information processing of the body. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. (Int J Eat Disord 2013).
    Full-text · Article · May 2014 · International Journal of Eating Disorders
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