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Am Psychol. 2005 Apr;60(3):229-42.

The primacy of cognition in schizophrenia.

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Department of Psychology, York University, Toronto, ON, Canada.


Cognitive tasks and concepts are used increasingly in schizophrenia science and treatment. Recent meta-analyses show that across a spectrum of research domains only cognitive measures distinguish a majority of schizophrenia patients from healthy people. Average effect sizes derived from common clinical tests of attention, memory, language, and reasoning are twice as large as those obtained in structural magnetic resonance imaging and positron emission tomography studies. Chronic stress, genes, brain disturbances, task structure, gender, and sociocultural background may all enhance the sensitivity of cognitive performance to schizophrenia. At the same time, disease heterogeneity and the presence of endophenotypes and subtypes within the patient population may place upper limits on the strength of any specific cognitive finding. Schizophrenia is a complex biobehavioral disorder that manifests itself primarily in cognition.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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