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Subramaniam K, Luks TL, Fisher M, Simpson GV, Nagarajan S, Vinogradov S. Computerized cognitive training restores neural activity within the reality monitoring network in schizophrenia. Neuron . 2012 Feb 23 ; 73(4):842-53. PubMed Abstract

Comments on Paper and Primary News
Primary News: Back to Reality: Computerized Cognitive Training Lends a Hand to Schizophrenia

Comment by:  Philip Harvey
Submitted 27 February 2012 Posted 27 February 2012

This is a fabulous study for several reasons.

The authors use cognitive training to enhance cognition and measure both cognitive functioning and the intactness of a neural network that they previous discovered. They find that they enhance cognition and improve regional brain activation. Further, social functioning is improved at a six-month follow-up.

Since the authors measured cognition and functionally relevant outcomes, these data again provide support for the usefulness of cognitive remediation for cognition and functioning, as well as show that these interventions directly impact critical neural networks. The integration of brain, cognition, and functioning makes a strong argument for the universal application of cognitive remediation in people with schizophrenia.

View all comments by Philip Harvey

Primary News: Back to Reality: Computerized Cognitive Training Lends a Hand to Schizophrenia

Comment by:  James Gold, SRF Advisor
Submitted 27 February 2012 Posted 27 February 2012

Dr. Subramaniam and colleagues deserve congratulations on an impressive study demonstrating that an extensive computerized cognitive training intervention appears to have effects on both brain physiology and performance on an untrained reality monitoring task—important evidence that the training does not only “teach to the test.” Further, the training appears to normalize the relationship between medial frontal activity and reality monitoring in patients, suggesting that the training has resulted in a reorganization of how patients are able to mobilize neural systems to meet the cognitive challenge. This result is important and adds to the evidence that the Posit Science approach may be valuable for people with schizophrenia. Adding to the importance of this result is the fact that, to date, there is no compelling, replicated evidence that any available pharmacological approach provides effective treatment for the cognitive impairments of schizophrenia. Indeed, given the apparent exodus of multiple major pharmaceutical companies from psychiatric treatment development...  Read more

View all comments by James Gold

Primary News: Back to Reality: Computerized Cognitive Training Lends a Hand to Schizophrenia

Comment by:  Robert McCarley
Submitted 7 March 2012 Posted 8 March 2012
  I recommend this paper

Very exciting and hopeful data, especially in this patient population who had been ill nearly 20 years. These data argue strongly for similar trials at other sites.

From a scientific point of view, it will be interesting to see if these functional changes will be accompanied by structural alterations of increased MRI gray matter, compatible with plasticity and increased dendritic and synaptic elements.

View all comments by Robert McCarley

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