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Nat Rev Neurosci. 2015 Oct;16(10):620-31. doi: 10.1038/nrn4005. Epub 2015 Sep 16.

Social cognition in schizophrenia.

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Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, University of California, Los Angeles, 760 Westwood Plaza, Room 27-462, Los Angeles, California 90024-1759, USA; and Department of Veterans Affairs, Desert Pacific Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center, Building 210A, Room 125, 11301 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, California 90073, USA.


Individuals with schizophrenia exhibit impaired social cognition, which manifests as difficulties in identifying emotions, feeing connected to others, inferring people's thoughts and reacting emotionally to others. These social cognitive impairments interfere with social connections and are strong determinants of the degree of impaired daily functioning in such individuals. Here, we review recent findings from the fields of social cognition and social neuroscience and identify the social processes that are impaired in schizophrenia. We also consider empathy as an example of a complex social cognitive function that integrates several social processes and is impaired in schizophrenia. This information may guide interventions to improve social cognition in patients with this disorder.

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