Michael F. Green, Junghee Lee, Kevin N. Ochsner
Abstract:Social cognitive impairment is prominent in schizophrenia, and it is closely related to functional outcome. Partly for these reasons, it has rapidly become a target for both training and psychopharmacological interventions. However, there is a paucity of reliable and valid social cognitive endpoints that can be used to evaluate treatment response in clinical trials. Also, clinical studies in schizophrenia have benefited rather little from the surge of activity and knowledge in nonclinical social neuroscience. The National Institute of Mental Health-sponsored study, “Social Cognition and Functioning in Schizophrenia” (SCAF), attempted to address this translational challenge by selecting paradigms from social neuroscience that could be adapted for use in schizophrenia. The project also evaluated the psychometric properties and external validity of the tasks to determine their suitability for multisite clinical trials. This first article in the theme section presents the goals, conceptual background, and rationale for the SCAF project.