Neurocognitive deficit in schizophrenia: a quantitative review of the evidence

Neuropsychology. 1998 Jul;12(3):426-45. doi: 10.1037//0894-4105.12.3.426.


The neurocognitive literature on test performance in schizophrenia is reviewed quantitatively. The authors report 22 mean effect sizes from 204 studies to index schizophrenia versus control differences in global and selective verbal memory, nonverbal memory, bilateral and unilateral motor performance, visual and auditory attention, general intelligence, spatial ability, executive function, language, and interhemispheric tactile-transfer test performance. Moderate to large raw effect sizes (d > .60) were obtained for all 22 neurocognitive test variables, and none of the associated confidence intervals included zero. The results indicate that schizophrenia is characterized by a broadly based cognitive impairment, with varying degrees of deficit in all ability domains measured by standard clinical tests.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Attention / physiology
  • Cognition Disorders / classification
  • Cognition Disorders / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Inhibition, Psychological
  • Intelligence
  • Language Disorders / etiology
  • Memory Disorders / etiology
  • Neuropsychological Tests*
  • Perceptual Disorders / etiology
  • Schizophrenia / complications*
  • Schizophrenia / physiopathology
  • Schizophrenic Psychology*
  • Volition / physiology