Sensory processing, neurocognition, and social cognition in schizophrenia: Towards a cohesive cognitive model

J.J. de Jong, B. de Gelder, P.P.G. Hodiamont

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Schizophrenia research has identified deficits in neurocognition, social cognition, and sensory processing. Because a cohesive model of “disturbed cognitive machinery” is currently lacking, we built a conceptual model to integrate neurocognition, social cognition, and sensory processing.

In a cross-sectional study, the cognitive performance of participants was measured. In accordance with the Schedules for Clinical Assessment in Neuropsychiatry, the participants were assigned to either the schizophrenia group or the non-schizophrenic psychosis group. Exclusion criteria included substance abuse, serious somatic/neurological illness, and perceptual handicap. The male/female ratio, educational level, and handedness did not differ significantly between the groups.

The data were analyzed using structural equation modeling. Based upon the results of all possible pairwise models correlating neurocognition, social cognition, and sensory processing, three omnibus models were analyzed. A statistical analysis of a pairwise model-fit (χ2, CFI, and RMSEA statistics) revealed poor interrelatedness between sensory processing and neurocognition in schizophrenia patients compared with healthy control participants. The omnibus model that predicted disintegration between sensory processing and neurocognition was statistically confirmed as superior for the schizophrenia group (χ2(53) of 56.62, p = 0.341, RMSEA = 0.04, CFI = 0.95). In healthy participants, the model predicting maximal interrelatedness between sensory processing/neurocognition and neurocognition/social cognition gave the best fit (χ2(52) of 53.74, p = 0.408, RMSEA = 0.03, CFI = 0.97). The performance of the patients with non-schizophrenic psychosis fell between the schizophrenia patients and control participants.

These findings suggest increasing separation between sensory processing and neurocognition along the continuum from mental health to schizophrenia. Our results support a conceptual model that posits disintegration between sensory processing of social stimuli and neurocognitive processing.

Keywords: Schizophreni, Psychosis, Cognition, Sensory processing, Disintegration, Structural equation modeling
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-216
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Volume146
Issue number1-3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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