Within-individual variability in cognitive performance in schizophrenia: A narrative review of the key literature and proposed research agenda

Schizophr Res. 2023 Feb;252:329-334. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2023.01.028. Epub 2023 Jan 26.


Schizophrenia is a neurodevelopmental disorder and a leading cause of disability worldwide. Deficits in cognitive function are characteristic of schizophrenia and are predictors of functional outcomes in the disorder. Within-individual variability (WIV) in cognitive performance is elevated in schizophrenia and has been suggested to provide additional insight into cognitive function over and above mean performance measures. Despite growing interest in WIV in schizophrenia, research on the clinical significance and neural correlates of WIV in the disorder remains sparse. The present narrative review summarizes the key literature linking WIV in schizophrenia to clinical, neural, and genetic correlates. Here, we aim to highlight key knowledge gaps and provide directions for future research into WIV in schizophrenia.

Keywords: Cognition; Genetic predisposition to disease; Neuroimaging; Reaction time; Schizophrenia; Within-individual variability.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cognition
  • Cognition Disorders* / etiology
  • Humans
  • Schizophrenia*