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January 2017

Association of Sensory Processing With Higher-Order Cognition and Functioning in Schizophrenia: Mapping the World

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
  • 2Department of Radiology, University of California, San Francisco
JAMA Psychiatry. 2017;74(1):17-18. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2016.2992

Our brain is mapping the world…often that map is distorted, but it’s a map with constant immediate sensory input.

E. O. Wilson1(p 87)

Psychiatric research tends to emphasize distortions in higher-order cognitions, such as executive functioning or social-emotional processing, but the role of abnormal sensory representations is often overlooked. In this issue of JAMA Psychiatry, Thomas et al2 report that measures of early auditory information processing (EAP) have a fully mediated effect on functional outcome in schizophrenia, engaging general cognition, with separate pathways that involve or bypass negative symptoms. In so doing, Thomas et al2 help clarify the associations between impairments in immediate sensory input and the mapping of global aspects of cognition and functioning.

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