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Cognition across the psychiatric disorder spectrum: From mental health to clinical diagnosis

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889196531 Year: Pages: 93 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-653-1 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Medicine (General) --- Psychiatry
Added to DOAB on : 2016-08-16 10:34:25
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Psychiatric symptoms are considered to be distributed along a continuum, from good mental health to a diagnosable psychiatric disorder. In the case of psychosis, subclinical psychotic experiences, which can include odd behaviors, strange speech, unusual perceptual experiences and social/emotional withdrawal, are often referred to as schizotypy. Research examining schizotypal traits in non-clinical populations is rapidly expanding. The exploration of schizotypy allows us to identify areas of overlap with psychiatric disorders (schizophrenia and related disorders) at genetic, biological, environmental and psychosocial levels, thus identifying putative risk factors, as well as exploring potentially protective factors. Schizotypy is also a valuable model for exploring cognition as performance is not confounded by issues often present in schizophrenia samples, such as long-term antipsychotic medication usage, social isolation, and recurrent hospitalizations. Investigating cognition is a particularly important area of research as cognitive symptoms in schizophrenia, such as impaired attention, reduced memory and difficulties with executive functions, are a core feature of schizophrenia and strongly related to quality of life and functional outcomes, yet generally respond poorly to current treatment options. The aim of this special Research Topic is to explore the relationship between cognition, schizotypy and the schizophrenia spectrum. The articles in this e-book draw on a variety of perspectives and represent an interesting array of opinions, reviews and empirical studies that begin to answer questions about the similarities and overlaps between schizotypy and schizophrenia spectrum disorders, contributing to our understanding of potential risk factors. Equally important is research that highlights differences between schizotypy and schizophrenia spectrum disorders that may enhance our understanding of potentially protective or adaptive features of schizotypy. Collectively, these articles highlight the exploratory potential of the study of schizotypy, particularly in relation to better understanding cognition across the schizophrenia spectrum.

New frontiers in the neuropsychopharmacology of mental illness

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889194049 Year: Pages: 254 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-404-9 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Therapeutics --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2015-12-10 11:59:06
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In recent years, mental illnesses have become recognized as a huge emotional and financial burden to the individual, their relatives and society at large. Stress-related and mood disorders as well as psychoactive substance abuse are among the disorders associated with most disability in high income countries. Suicide, which is often attributed to some underlying mental disorders, is a leading cause of death among teenagers and young adults. At the same time, mental disorders pose some of the toughest challenges in neuroscience research. There are many different categories of mental disorder as defined and classified by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) and the International Statistical Classification of Diseases 10th Revision (ICD-10). Despite the ongoing improvements of those widely used manuals, the validity and reliability of their diagnoses remain a constant debate. However, it has now become accepted by the scientific community that mental disorders can arise from multiple sources. In that regard, both clinical and animal studies looking at gene-environment interactions have helped to better understand the mechanisms involved in the pathophysiology as well as the discovery of treatments for mental disorders. This Research Topic aims to cover recent progress in research studying how genetic make-up and environmental factors (such as stress paradigm or pharmacological treatment) can contribute to the development of mental disorders such as anxiety, depression, and schizophrenia. This Research Topic also seeks to highlight studies looking at affective-like disorders following the intake of drugs of abuse. We also welcome all research articles, review papers, brief communications, and commentary on topics related to the broad field of Neuropsychopharmacology.

Schizophrenia: A Consequence of Gene-Environment Interactions?

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889195312 Year: Pages: 126 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-531-2 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2015-12-10 11:59:06
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Schizophrenia is a multi-factorial disease characterized by a high heritability and environmental risk factors (e.g. stress and cannabis use). In recent years, an increasing number of researchers worldwide have started investigating the ‘two-hit hypothesis’ of schizophrenia predicting that genetic and environmental risk factors interactively cause the development of the disorder. This work is starting to produce valuable new animal models and reveal novel insights into the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. Eventually, it might help advance studies of the molecular pathways involved in this mental disorder and propose more specific molecular medicine. However, the complexity of this multi-factorial line of research has also caused difficulties in data interpretation and comparison. Our research topic is intended to cover past and current directions in research dedicated to the understanding and measurement of gene-environment interactions (GxE) in schizophrenia, the neurobiological and behavioural consequences of such interactions as well as the challenges and limitations one encounters when working on complex aetiological systems.

Visual Dysfunction in Schizophrenia: A View into the Mechanisms of Madness?

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889195152 Year: Pages: 319 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-515-2 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Psychology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2015-10-30 16:33:44
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Research on visual perception in schizophrenia has a long history. However, it is only recently that it has been included in mainstream efforts to understand the cognitive neuroscience of the disorder and to assist with biomarker and treatment development (e.g., the NIMH CNTRICS and RDoC initiatives). Advances in our understanding of visual disturbances in schizophrenia can tell us about both specific computational and neurobiological abnormalities, and about the widespread computational and neurobiological abnormalities in the illness, of which visual disturbances constitute well-studied, replicable, low-level examples. Importantly, far from being a passive sensory registration process, visual perception is active, inferential, and hypothesis-generating, and therefore can provide excellent examples of breakdowns in general brain functions in schizophrenia. Despite progress made in understanding visual processing disturbances in schizophrenia, many challenges exist and many unexplored areas are in need of examination. For example, the directional relationships between perceptual and cognitive disturbances (e.g., in attention, memory, executive function, predictive coding) remain unclear in many cases, as do links with symptoms, including visual hallucinations. The effect of specific visual disturbances on multisensory integration in schizophrenia has also not been explored. In addition, few studies of vision in schizophrenia have used naturalistic stimuli, including real-world objects, and almost no studies have examined processing during interaction with objects or visual exploration, which can provide important data on functioning of the perception for action pathway. Relatedly, studies of visual processing in schizophrenia have also not been conducted within contexts that include emotional stimulation and the presence of reinforcers - characteristics of many real-world situations - and the consequences of this are likely to be an incomplete view of how and when perception is abnormal in the condition. An additional important area involves treatment of visual disturbances in schizophrenia. Two major questions regarding this are: 1) can visual processing be improved in cases where it is impaired (and by what types of interventions affecting which cognitive and neurobiological mechanisms)? and 2) what are the clinical and functional benefits of improving specific visual functions in people with schizophrenia? Other important and understudied questions concern: 1) the extent to which indices of visual functioning can serve as biomarkers such as predictors of relapse, treatment response, and/or recovery; 2) the potential role of visual functioning in diagnosing and predicting illness; 3) the extent to which some visual perception disturbances are diagnostically specific to schizophrenia; and 4) the extent to which visual disturbances are truly manifestations of disease, as opposed to aspects of normal variation that, in combination with disease, serves to modify the clinical presentation. This Frontiers Research Topic explores some of these, and other issues facing this exciting interface between vision science and schizophrenia research. We include papers that span the entire range of different Frontiers paper types, including those that are data driven (using psychophysics, electroencephalography, neuroimaging, computational and animal models, and other methods), reviews, hypotheses, theories, opinion, methods, areas of impact, and historical perspectives.

Neural processing of emotion in multimodal settings

Authors: --- --- --- --- et al.
Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889194148 Year: Pages: 274 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-414-8 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2015-12-10 11:59:06
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Our everyday life is characterized by a multitude of emotionally relevant cues that we perceive and communicate via various sensory channels. This does not only encompass the obvious cases of auditory and visual modalities, but also olfactory, gustatory, and even tactile stimuli. Any kind of emotional situation in a natural setting is usually a multimodal experience: A friend welcomes us with warm words, a smile, and a happy voice; the sight of our favourite food is accompanied by a seductive smell and a delicious taste; the thrill of watching an exciting movie scene is intensified by a gripping soundtrack. In these situations, the signals from various senses do not stand on their own; they interact and create a unified emotional experience. Recent neuroscientific research has begun to accommodate this inherent multimodality of emotions in natural situations by studying the interaction of affectively relevant information from more than one sensory channel. Fascinating new aspects emerge concerning the neurobiology of emotion processing, and there is evidence that integrating emotional cues from various sources invokes brain processes that go beyond the well-known patterns observed during unimodal stimulation. The aim of this volume is to present novel and interesting studies dealing with the multimodality of emotions and their neural processing. This includes findings from novel paradigms beyond the classical stimulus-response pattern, fascinating new insights into the interaction of the chemical senses, new analysis methods, comprehensive reviews of selected topics, multimodality in social interactions, and clinical perspectives. Taken together, the studies of this volume thus help us to better understand the interplay of various senses in our daily emotional experiences.

Psychomotor symptomatology in psychiatric illnesses

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889197255 Year: Pages: 137 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-725-5 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Psychiatry --- Medicine (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-04-07 11:22:02
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Psychomotor symptoms are those symptoms that are characterized by deficits in the initiation, execution and monitoring of movements, such as psychomotor slowing, catatonia, neurological soft signs (NSS), reduction in motor activity or extrapyramidal symptoms (EPS). These symptoms have not always received the attention they deserve although they can be observed in a wide range of psychiatric illnesses, including mood disorders, psychotic disorders, anxiety disorders, pervasive developmental disorders and personality disorders. Nevertheless, these symptoms seem to have prognostic value on clinical and functional outcome in several pathologies. In the late 19th century, the founding fathers of modern psychiatry (including Kahlbaum, Wernicke, Kraepelin and Bleuler) had a strong focus on psychomotor abnormalities in their description and definitions of psychiatric illnesses and systematically recognized these as core features of several psychiatric pathologies. Nevertheless, emphasis on these symptoms has reduced substantially since the emergence of psychopharmacology, given the association between antipsychotics or antidepressants and medication-induced motor deficits. This has resulted in the general idea that most if not all psychomotor deficits were merely side effects of their treatment rather than intrinsic features of the illness. Yet, the last two decades a renewed interest in these deficits can be observed and has yielded an exponential growth of research into these psychomotor symptoms in several psychiatric illnesses. This recent evolution is also reflected in the increased appreciation of these symptoms in the DSM-5. As a result of this increased focus, new insights into the clinical and demographical presentation, the etiology, the course, the prognostic value as well as treatment aspects of psychomotor symptomatology in different illnesses has emerged. Still, many new questions arise from these findings. This research topic is comprised of all types of contributions (original research, reviews, and opinion piece) with a focus on psychomotor symptomatology in a psychiatric illness, especially research focusing on one or more of the following topics: the clinical presentation of the psychomotor syndrome; the course through the illness; the diagnostical specificity of the syndrome; the underlying neurobiological or neuropsychological processes; new assessment techniques; pharmacological or non-pharmacological treatment strategies.

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