Cognition in schizophrenia

Key themes

Early development of cognition and behaviour in adult psychosis (Done). In collaboration with the Centre for Longitudinal Studies, POWIC (University of Oxford) and CLiCIR at the University of Hertfordshire we have identified most, if not all cases of adult onset psychosis in two British birth cohorts (NCDS and BCS70) .

This permits analysis of early childhood development using unbiased, prospectively collected data. Two citation classics have resulted in addition to a number of other relevant papers.

Semantic memory disturbance in schizophrenia (Laws, Done, PhD students include Green, Doughty, Leeson). Over 10 years ago, Professors Laws and McKenna published the first studies of semantic memory deficits in patients with schizophrenia.

This work shows that in some schizophrenics, the degree of knowledge impairment is as great as that documented in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.

This work has continued over that time, producing approximately 15-20 papers. In particular, they have investigated whether the semantic memory problems found in schizophrenics reflect a disorder affecting the accessing of intact semantics or a loss of the semantic knowledge representations themselves.

Additionally, they have investigated the link between semantic memory dysfunction and schizophrenic symptoms (such as thought disorder and delusions).

Impaired salience in schizophrenia (Done) Explored with experimental cognitive neuropsychological methods; first-hand experience in development of, and recovery from, delusions.

CBT for psychosis (Prof Laws) - examining whether CBT has a role to play in reducing symptoms and preventing relapse.

Confabulation and schizophrenia (Done; Cloherty; Doughty)

Phenomenology of Auditory Hallucinations (Done; Cottam; Paul)