Brain structure and function correlates of cognitive subtypes in schizophrenia

Daniel Geisler, Esther Walton, Melissa Naylor, Veit Roessner, Kelvin O. Lim, S. Charles Schulz, Randy L. Gollub, Vince D. Calhoun, Scott R. Sponheim, Stefan Ehrlich

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52 Scopus citations


Stable neuropsychological deficits may provide a reliable basis for identifying etiological subtypes of schizophrenia. The aim of this study was to identify clusters of individuals with schizophrenia based on dimensions of neuropsychological performance, and to characterize their neural correlates. We acquired neuropsychological data as well as structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging from 129 patients with schizophrenia and 165 healthy controls. We derived eight cognitive dimensions and subsequently applied a cluster analysis to identify possible schizophrenia subtypes. Analyses suggested the following four cognitive clusters of schizophrenia: (1) Diminished Verbal Fluency, (2) Diminished Verbal Memory and Poor Motor Control, (3) Diminished Face Memory and Slowed Processing, and (4) Diminished Intellectual Function. The clusters were characterized by a specific pattern of structural brain changes in areas such as Wernicke's area, lingual gyrus and occipital face area, and hippocampus as well as differences in working memory-elicited neural activity in several fronto-parietal brain regions. Separable measures of cognitive function appear to provide a method for deriving cognitive subtypes meaningfully related to brain structure and function. Because the present study identified brain-based neural correlates of the cognitive clusters, the proposed groups of individuals with schizophrenia have some external validity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)74-83
Number of pages10
JournalPsychiatry Research - Neuroimaging
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 30 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH/NCRR P41RR14075 , 1RC1MH089257 , and R01EB005846 ) (to VDC), Department of Energy ( DE-FG02-99ER62764 ), Mind Research Network , Morphometry BIRN ( 1U24, RR021382A ), Function BIRN ( U24RR021992-01 , NIH.NCRR MO1 RR025758-01 ), the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (research fellowship to SE) and the NARSAD Young Investigator Award (to S.E).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.


  • Cluster analysis
  • Cognitive subtypes
  • Cortical thickness
  • Neural correlates
  • Neuropsychological performance
  • Schizophrenia
  • Subcortical volume
  • Working memory


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