Neurobiological underpinnings of insight deficits in schizophrenia

Int Rev Psychiatry. 2007 Aug;19(4):437-46. doi: 10.1080/09540260701486324.


Impaired insight into illness is commonly observed across various psychiatric illnesses, but is most frequent in patients with schizophrenia. The clinical relevance and public health impact of poor insight is reflected by its close association with important clinical outcome measures, such as treatment non-adherence, lower psychosocial functioning, poor prognosis, involuntary hospitalization, and higher utilization of emergency services. Although the neurobiology of insight has not been determined, data from neurocognitive and a few structural imaging studies provide some understanding of the neurobiological underpinnings of insight function in schizophrenia. Using published and preliminary data, we propose a hypothetical model of insight that may help initiate neurobiological investigations in this complex area.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Attitude to Health
  • Awareness*
  • Cognition*
  • Humans
  • Models, Psychological
  • Patient Compliance
  • Schizophrenic Psychology*