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Neural Mechanisms of Impaired Cognitive and Emotional Functioning in Schizophrenia

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Impaired cognition in schizophrenia is a core feature of the illness that for many patients represents a “glass ceiling” for functional recovery. Strong links have been established between cognitive impairment and functional outcome propelling this aspect of the psychopathology of schizophrenia to become a ...

Impaired cognition in schizophrenia is a core feature of the illness that for many patients represents a “glass ceiling” for functional recovery. Strong links have been established between cognitive impairment and functional outcome propelling this aspect of the psychopathology of schizophrenia to become a major focus of research as well as a major target for treatment development. Translational research to develop treatments for cognitive deficits in schizophrenia has been accelerated since the early 1990s. A number of promising leads have been developed for treatment of cognitive deficits in schizophrenia, including drugs that modulate glutamatergic, GABAergic, catecholaminergic and nicotinic neurotransmission, but at this point none of the treatments has led to improved cognition in these patients, perhaps in part because the precise nature of the cognitive deficits has not been established. More recently, researchers have begun to use basic science paradigms to better pinpoint the spatiotemporal dynamics of deficits in cognitive control, attention, memory, language and emotion in schizophrenia. In this Research Topic of Frontiers in Human Neuroscience we welcome original research and critical reviews that examine the neural mechanisms that contribute to impaired cognition and emotion in schizophrenia and that examine promising avenues for treatment of the illness. In this way, we aim to synthesize new perspectives and gain a more complete picture of the brain bases of cognitive and emotional deficits in schizophrenia, which may be used to develop and inform treatments of the illness


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