Social functioning and brain imaging in individuals at clinical high-risk for psychosis: A systematic review

Schizophr Res. 2021 Jul:233:3-12. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2021.04.013. Epub 2021 Jun 11.


Impairments in social functioning are a core impairment in psychosis and are associated with poor outcomes. These deficits are found in those at clinical high-risk (CHR) for psychosis, and can persist even in the absence of transition. However, the neurobiological underpinnings of social functioning remain unclear, therefore we conducted a systematic review of brain metrics that have been associated with social functioning in youth at CHR for psychosis. Five databases (MEDLINE, CINAHL, EBM reviews, Embase, and PsycINFO) were searched from inception to May 5, 2020. Studies were selected if they examined brain imaging, and social functioning in youth at CHR for psychosis. Of the 9629 citations found through online database searching, 12 studies with 696 CHR participants met inclusion criteria. Too few studies were focused on the same brain region using the same methodology to perform a meta-analysis, however, loci within the prefrontal cortex were most often associated with social functioning. Few studies have linked social functioning to brain imaging metrics, suggesting that future work should focus on this relationship.

Keywords: Clinical high risk; Imaging; Psychosis; Social functioning; Systematic review.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Neuroimaging
  • Psychotic Disorders* / diagnostic imaging
  • Social Adjustment
  • Social Interaction*