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Schizophr Res. 2012 Mar;135(1-3):68-71. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2011.12.009. Epub 2012 Jan 14.

Is it possible to have impaired neurocognition but good social cognition in schizophrenia?

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  • 1National Center for PTSD, Clinical Neurosciences Division, Psychiatry Service, 116A, 950 Campbell Ave, West Haven, CT 06516, USA.


Social cognitive impairment in schizophrenia is common and associated with poor functional outcome. While correlations in the moderate range suggest that social cognition and neurocognition are separate but overlapping domains, less is known about whether intact neurocognition represents a "necessary but not sufficient" condition for intact social cognition, as has been suggested. In the present study we examined the following in a sample of 119 psychiatrically stable outpatients with schizophrenia: 1) correlations between multiple social cognitive measures and neurocognition, 2) the predictive value of neurocognitive domains in explaining social cognitive performance, and 3) the co-occurrence of social cognitive and neurocognitive impairment within participants. While ΒΌ of participants showed intact overall neurocognition and impaired overall social cognition, only one participant had normal-range social cognition and impaired neurocognition. Results support the notion that normal range neurocognition is a necessary though not necessarily sufficient building block for good social cognitive performance.

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