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Schizophr Bull. 2012 Jan;38(1):53-61. doi: 10.1093/schbul/sbr065. Epub 2011 Jul 15.

CNTRICS final biomarker selection: Control of attention.

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1
Center for Mind and Brain, University of California, 267 Cousteau Place, Davis, CA 95618, USA. sjluck@ucdavis.edu

Abstract

Attention is widely believed to be dysfunctional in schizophrenia. The Cognitive Neuroscience Treatment Research to Improve Cognition in Schizophrenia (CNTRICS) group previously concluded that the processes involved in the top-down control of attention are particularly impaired in schizophrenia and should be the focus of future research. These processes determine which sources of input should be attended, linking goal representations in prefrontal cortex with more posterior regions that implement the actual selection of attended information. A more recent meeting of the CNTRICS group assessed several paradigms that might be useful for identifying biomarkers of attentional control and that could be used for treatment development and assessment. Two types of paradigms were identified as being particularly promising. In one approach, neural activity is measured (using electroencephalography or functional magnetic resonance imaging) during the period between an attention-directing cue and a target. In a second approach, neural activity is measured under low- and high-distraction conditions. These approaches make it possible to identify the goal representations that guide attention and the interactions between these goal representations and the implementation of selection. Although more basic science research with healthy volunteers and preclinical research with schizophrenia patients is needed before these paradigms will be ready to provide clinically useful biomarkers, they hold substantial promise for aiding in the development and assessment of new treatments.

PMID:
21765166
PMCID:
PMC3245597
DOI:
10.1093/schbul/sbr065
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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