Exploratory analysis of social cognition and neurocognition in individuals at clinical high risk for psychosis

Psychiatry Res. 2014 Aug 15;218(1-2):39-43. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2014.04.003. Epub 2014 Apr 12.


Neurocognition and social cognition are separate but related constructs known to be impaired in schizophrenia. The aim of this study was to extend the current knowledge of the relationship between social cognition and neurocognition in individuals at clinical high risk (CHR) of developing psychosis by examining, in a large sample, the associations between a wide range of neurocognitive tasks and social cognition. Participants included 136 young people at CHR. Specific domains within neurocognition and social cognition were compared using Spearman correlations. Results showed that poor theory of mind correlated with low ratings on a wide range of neurocognitive tasks. Facial affect was more often associated with low ratings on spatial working memory and attention. These results support a link between neurocognition and social cognition even at this early stage of potential psychosis, with indication that poorer performance on social cognition may be associated with deficits in attention and working memory. Understanding these early associations may have implications for early intervention.

Keywords: Attention; Facial affect recognition; Schizophrenia; Theory of mind; Working memory.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attention
  • Child
  • Cognition Disorders / psychology
  • Cognition*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Psychotic Disorders / psychology*
  • Risk
  • Schizophrenic Psychology
  • Social Behavior*
  • Social Perception*
  • Young Adult