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Current Psychiatry Reviews


ISSN (Print): 1573-4005
ISSN (Online): 1875-6441

Context Processing and Social Cognition in Schizophrenia

Author(s): Melissa J. Green, Peter J. Uhlhaas and Max Coltheart

Volume 1 , Issue 1 , 2005

Page: [11 - 22] Pages: 12

DOI: 10.2174/1573400052953529


Recent empirical and theoretical work has conceptualized cognitive deficits in schizophrenia in terms of a deficit in the processing of contextual information [1, 2]. Context processing deficits have been shown to underlie impairments in multiple cognitive domains, and may thus represent a core disturbance in information processing in schizophrenia. Despite the increasing evidence for impaired context processing, there has been little research into the relevance of these deficits for an understanding of social cognition in schizophrenia. In the present paper, we argue that deficits in the processing of context may also be relevant for explanations of deficits in social cognition in schizophrenia. We review evidence to suggest that efficient context processing may be necessary for the acquisition and maintenance of social cognitive skills, such that deficits in context processing may be a common factor underlying deficits in both social and non-social cognition in schizophrenia. Future research should examine relationships between specific social cognitive skills (such as facial expression perception, mental state inference) in relation to context processing during non-social perceptual and cognitive tasks.

Keywords: context-processing, schizophrenia, psychopathology, cognitive deficits, perceptual organization, continuous performance test

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