Title Colour Legend:
Green - Topic summary is available.
Orange - Topic summary is being compiled.
Red - Topic summary has no current systematic review available.

Cognitive functioning related to symptoms

How is cognitive functioning related to symptoms? 

Schizophrenia is characterised by positive, negative and disorganised symptoms. Positive symptoms refer to experiences additional to what would be considered normal experience, such as hallucinations and delusions. Negative symptoms include blunted affect, impoverished thinking, alogia, asociality, avolition and anhedonia. Alogia is often manifested as poverty of speech, asociality involves reduced social interaction, avolition refers to poor hygiene and reduced motivation, while anhedonia is defined as an inability to experience pleasure. Disorganised symptoms involve bizarre behavior and disorganised thought and speech. Cognitive deficits are also a core feature of schizophrenia. These deficits may be present in chronic patients, as well as prior to onset of the disorder and during its early and acute stages. Cognitive deficits may be associated with specific symptoms as well as functional impairment.

What is the evidence for cognitive functioning relating to symptom dimensions?

Moderate to high quality evidence shows that more severe overall symptoms are associated with poor prospective memory, insight, executive functioning, facial perception and facial emotion recognition, emotion processing and perception, social perception, and Theory of Mind. Positive symptoms in particular are associated with lower levels of insight, attention/vigilance, reasoning, problem solving, non-emotional recognition, self-recognition, psychomotor speed, executive functioning, Theory of Mind, verbal list learning and digit span performance. Moderate quality evidence suggests an association between more severe negative symptoms and lower verbal fluency, IQ, attention, memory, learning, speed of processing, reasoning, executive functioning, insight, facial emotion perception, Theory of Mind, verbal fluency and social cognition. Moderate to high quality evidence suggests an association between more severe disorganised symptoms and lower IQ, attention, executive functioning, speed of processing, reasoning/problem solving , and memory (but not verbal working memory). Moderate to low quality evidence suggests more impaired performance on semantic priming, verbal fluency and naming tasks in people with thought disorder compared to people without thought disorder.


May 2016

Page last updated: 3:55  6 September 2017

To view documentation related to this topic download the files below