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Schizophr Bull. 2012 Jan;38(1):144-52. doi: 10.1093/schbul/sbr142. Epub 2011 Nov 17.

Clinical, functional, and intertask correlations of measures developed by the Cognitive Neuroscience Test Reliability and Clinical Applications for Schizophrenia Consortium.

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Maryland Psychiatric Research Center, Department of Psychiatry, University of Maryland School of Medicine, PO Box 21247, Baltimore, MD 21228, USA.


The goal of the Cognitive Neuroscience Test Reliability and Clinical Applications for Schizophrenia (CNTRACS) Consortium was to develop measures of discrete cognitive processes, allowing for the interpretation of specific deficits that could be linked to specific neural systems. Here we report on the intertask, clinical, and functional correlates of the 4 tasks that were investigated in large groups of patients with schizophrenia (>100) and healthy controls (>73) at 5 sites across the United States. In both healthy and patient groups, the key dependent measures from the CNTRACS tasks were minimally intercorrelated, suggesting that they are measuring discrete abilities. Correlations were examined between CNTRACS tasks and measures of functional capacity, premorbid IQ, symptom severity, and level of community functioning. Performance on tasks measuring relational memory encoding, goal maintenance, and visual gain control were correlated with premorbid IQ and the former 2 tasks with the functional capacity. Goal maintenance task performance was negatively correlated with negative symptom severity and informant reports of community function. These correlations reflect the relationship of specific abilities with functional outcome. They are somewhat lower than functional outcome correlations observed with conventional neuropsychological tests that confound multiple cognitive and motivational deficits. The measures of visual integration and gain control were not significantly correlated with clinical symptoms or function. These results suggest that the CNTRACS tasks measure discrete cognitive abilities, some of which relate to aspects of functional capacity/outcome in schizophrenia.

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