Social cognitive impairments in first episode psychosis

Schizophr Res. 2007 Sep;95(1-3):124-33. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2007.05.033. Epub 2007 Jul 16.


Background: Social cognition is a complex phenomenon involving several distinct processes. Numerous studies have shown that individuals with schizophrenia are largely impaired on this domain of cognition. However, most have focused on a single aspect of social cognition, namely "theory of mind" and/or included patients with long standing illness.

Objective: The main objective of the present study was to identify social cognition deficits in first episode of schizophrenia spectrum psychosis using a case control design and a comprehensive assessment that allowed the exploration of several dimensions of this phenomenon.

Subjects: 36 patients with a first episode of psychosis and 25 healthy controls participated in this study.

Material: Measures of social cognition included the Hinting Task and the Four Factor Test of Social Intelligence.

Results: Significant group differences were found on both tasks, but the Four Factor Test of Social Intelligence revealed a stronger group effect and the effects observed remained significant once IQ was covaried. Social cognition did not show any correlations with level of symptoms.

Conclusion: Social cognition deficits are present during the first episode of psychosis. These impairments do not seem to be a consequence of group differences in overall intellectual functioning and are likely to be state-independent.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cognition Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Cognition Disorders / psychology
  • Emotions
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intelligence Tests / statistics & numerical data
  • Intention
  • Male
  • Models, Psychological
  • Neuropsychological Tests / statistics & numerical data
  • Parents
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales / statistics & numerical data
  • Recognition, Psychology
  • Schizophrenia / diagnosis*
  • Schizophrenic Psychology*
  • Social Class
  • Social Perception*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Thinking
  • Verbal Behavior