Article

Psychiatric Quarterly

, Volume 68, Issue 4, pp 343-359

First online:

Attention and Clinical Symptoms in Schizophrenia

  • Barbara CornblattAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry Research, Hillside Hospital, Long Island Jewish Medical Center
  • , Michael ObuchowskiAffiliated withPsychophysiology Unit, Department of Psychiatry Research, Hillside Hospital, Long Island Jewish Medical Center
  • , David B. SchnurAffiliated withMount Sinai School of MedicineElmhurst Hospital Center
  • , John D. O'BrienAffiliated withMount Sinai School of Medicine

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Abstract

Attentional deficits, long established to characterize patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders, have traditionally been regarded as part of the disorder's clinical syndrome. In this paper we provide evidence to indicate that: a) impaired attention is a dimension of schizophrenia that is independent of clinical state, and b) that attention does not appear to respond to the medication (i.e. standard neuroleptics) most typically used to treat clinical symptoms. Since intact attention and other cognitive processes appear critical to successful functioning in the community after hospital discharge, these findings have major implications for treatment.