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In this booklet and the Emergency Response Card data the
Here at last – a journal dedicated to the topic of cognition in schizophrenia: . The launch of this journal raises several questions. First: What took so long? Cognition in schizophrenia has been a major focus for a very long time. Exactly how long is somewhat arguable – as seen in the next section, 20, 50, or 100years are all acceptable answers. From this long-term historical context, it is surprising that it took until 2014 for a publisher to launch a journal focused on cognition in schizophrenia. On the other hand, one could ask provocatively: why do we even need a journal dedicated to this topic? While everyone now agrees that cognition in schizophrenia is an important topic, it is important that it pervades a wide range of topics. A perusal of schizophrenia-focused journals such as and shows that cognition is a feature of many articles, even those that are not specifically about cognition, including clinical trials, genetics, outcome, and neuroscience.
is expected to serve an important function as an international niche journal – a place where interests converge and investigators gather well-packaged information. It is also intended to take scientific risks. Considering that the journal is open access and will have a fast turn-around, this journal will be a place for rapid dissemination of information to people who will make the most of it. Appropriately for this inaugural issue, the two authors of this paper have been asked to comment on how we got here, where we are, and where are we going. That is, the goal of this first article is to place the study of cognition in schizophrenia within a historical and scientific context. Of course, when the questions are this broad, the answers are not straight forward. Where we came from is a purchase Bindarit of perspective, and we really do not know where we are going with any degree of confidence. But we can make some good guesses.


Introduction
In recent years, special emphasis has been given to the need for early intervention in schizophrenia (Insel, 2010; McGorry, 2011; Wykes et al., 2007). It is now acknowledged that the early phase of psychotic illness is crucial in terms of the emergence of a range of cognitive deficits that have prognostic implications (Bartholomeusz and Allott, 2012; Birchwood et al., 1990) – and that early intervention can potentially prevent further worsening of symptoms and improve functioning. An important target for early intervention is the domain of social cognition, the mental operations that underlie understanding, interpretation and perception of social information (Fiske and Taylor, 1991). Severe social cognition deficits, often comparable to those seen in chronic patients, have been repeatedly documented in early-phase schizophrenia (e.g. Bertrand et al., 2007; Green et al., 2012a; Williams et al., 2008). These deficits span the domains of affect perception (e.g. Edwards et al., 2001), social cue perception (including gaze perception, e.g. Hooker and Park, 2005; Rosse et al., 1994; Tso et al., 2013; Tso et al., 2012), theory of mind (ToM; e.g. Bertrand et al., 2007) and attributional style (e.g. Humphreys and Barrowclough, 2006). Importantly, social cognition deficits have been strongly associated with poor functional outcome in schizophrenia (e.g. Fett et al., 2010). Specifically, affect recognition and social perception have been each linked with community functioning, social problem solving and social skills (Couture et al., 2006; Irani et al., 2012); ToM, as well as affect perception and social perception, have been found to mediate the relationship between neurocognition and functional outcome (Addington et al., 2006a, b; Billeke and Aboitiz, 2013; Brekke et al., 2005; Couture et al., 2011; Fett et al., 2010; Sergi et al., 2006).
Surprisingly, however, only a few studies to date have examined the direct effects of social cognition training in young adult or early psychosis patients (Bartholomeusz et al., 2013; Eack et al., 2007; Eack et al., 2009), and none have evaluated a computerized intervention. Studies testing the effects of Cognitive Enhancement Therapy, a computer-based cognitive training with group-based social skills training (Eack et al., 2007, 2011; Eack et al., 2009) and of SCIT, a social cognitive group intervention (Combs et al., 2007; Penn et al., 2005) in first episode patients report promising effects on neurocognitive, social cognitive and functional outcome measures. However, these encouraging outcomes are limited by the practicality of applying these treatments in many clinical settings, given long treatment durations, the need for a trained clinician team, and the necessity of organizing patient groups for program delivery.
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