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Waters F.,Center for Clinical Research in Neuropsychiatry | Waters F.,University of Western States | Aleman A.,University of Groningen | Fernyhough C.,Durham University | Allen P.,Kings College London
Schizophrenia Bulletin | Year: 2012

This article presents a report on the first meeting of the International Consortium on Hallucination Research, which took place on September 13-14, 2011 at the Institute of Psychiatry, London. The first day of the meeting served to reflect on the current state of knowledge regarding auditory hallucinations in different diagnostic groups, based on the presentations from the phenomenology, cognition, emotion, electrophysiology, neurochemical, neuroimaging, genetics, treatment, and computational modeling working groups. The second day comprised a discussion forum where the most important and urgent questions for future research were identified. The meeting recognized that a lot has been achieved in auditory hallucination research but that much still remains to be done. Here, we outline the top 16 goals for research on auditory hallucinations, which cover topics of conceptual importance, academic and treatment issues, scientific rigor, and cross-disciplinary collaboration. Concerted and coordinated actions will be required to make substantial research progress. © The Author 2010. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center. All rights reserved. Source

Waters F.A.V.,Center for Clinical Research in Neuropsychiatry
Schizophrenia Bulletin | Year: 2010

Disturbances of self are a common feature of schizophrenic psychopathology, with patients reporting that their thoughts and actions are controlled by external forces, as shown in first-rank symptoms (FRS). One widely accepted explanatory model of FRS suggests a deficiency in the internal forward model system. Recent studies in the field of cognitive sciences, however, have generated new insights into how complex sensory and motor systems contribute to the sense of self-recognition, and it is becoming clear that the forward model conceptualization does not have unique access to representations about the self. We briefly evaluate the forward model explanation of FRS, reassess the distinction made between the sense of agency and body ownership, and outline recent developments in 4 domains of sensory-motor control that have supplemented our understanding of the processes underlying the sense of self-recognition. The application of these findings to FRS will open up new research directions into the processes underlying these symptoms. © The Author 2008. Source

Schwab S.G.,Friedrich - Alexander - University, Erlangen - Nuremberg | Wildenauer D.B.,University of Western Australia | Wildenauer D.B.,Center for Clinical Research in Neuropsychiatry
European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience | Year: 2013

The influence of genetic factors in the development of schizophrenia has been convincingly demonstrated by family, twin, and adoption studies. The statistical construct of heritability is generally used for estimating the liability due to genetic factors. Heritability estimates for schizophrenia are reported to be between 60 and 80 %. Due to the technical achievements in whole genome-wide association studies, dissection of the underlying genetic factors was intensified recently, resulting in the conclusion that schizophrenia is essentially a polygenic, complex disorder. Most likely more than 100 genes, each with small effect size, contribute to disease risk. A most recent multistage genome-wide association study (Ripke et al. in Nat Genet 2013) identified 22 risk loci and estimated that 8,300 independent single-nucleotide polymorphisms contributed to the risk accounting collectively for 32 % in liability. In addition to this polygenic, complex inheritance, there is also strong indication that in some patients a deletion or insertion of a larger chromosomal region [so-called copy number variation (CNV)] might play a crucial role in pathogenesis. This could be specifically important in sporadic cases with schizophrenia, since a higher frequency of de novo mutations has been associated with these CNVs. Further studies, combining much larger sample sizes as well as application of newer technology, such as deep sequencing technologies will be necessary in order to obtain a more comprehensive understanding of the genetic foundations of schizophrenia. © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013. Source

Waters F.,Center for Clinical Research in Neuropsychiatry | Waters F.,University of Western States | Bucks R.S.,University of Western States
Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society | Year: 2011

There is rapidly accumulating evidence of a close relationship between sleep loss and cognition. Neuropsychologists need to become aware of this body of knowledge as the effects of sleep loss on brain functions are significant. The current study (a) outlines the extent to which insufficient sleep affects performance on cognitive tasks in otherwise healthy people, (b) discusses the relationship between sleep and neurocognitive disorders, and (c) highlights key issues that merit consideration for neuropsychologists. This review shows that sleep loss has a measurable impact on performance through decreases in cognitive functions and effects on biological pathways that support cognitive performance. Sleep loss reliably produces reductions in speed of processing and attention. Higher order cognitive functions are affected to a lesser extent, and there is sparing on tasks of crystallized abilities. Deficits worsen with increasing time awake, but may be overturned after normal sleep is resumed. The review also shows that sleep disorders are a major feature of neuropsychological conditions contributing to the pattern of cognitive impairment. Overall, neuropsychologists must be alert to sleep problems in their clients, so that sleep interventions, or referrals, are put in place in the rehabilitation plan of individuals with cognitive dysfunctions. Recommendations also include routine screening of sleep as part of cognitive assessment. © Copyright The International Neuropsychological Society 2011. Source

Waters F.,Center for Clinical Research in Neuropsychiatry | Waters F.,University of Western Australia | Woodward T.,University of British Columbia | Allen P.,Kings College London | And 2 more authors.
Schizophrenia Bulletin | Year: 2012

Theories about auditory hallucinations in schizophrenia suggest that these experiences occur because patients fail to recognize thoughts and mental events as self-generated. Different theoretical models have been proposed about the cognitive mechanisms underlying auditory hallucinations. Regardless of the cognitive model being tested, however, experimental designs are almost identical in that they require a judgment regarding whether an action was self-originated or not. The aim of the current study was to integrate all available literature for a meta-analysis on this topic and reach conclusions about self-recognition performance in (1) patients with schizophrenia compared with healthy controls and (2) patients with auditory hallucinations compared with patients without these symptoms. A comprehensive literature review identified 23 studies that contrasted the performance of schizophrenia patients with healthy controls (1370 participants) and 9 studies that directly compared patients with and without auditory hallucinations (315 participants). We found significantly reduced self-recognition performance in schizophrenia patients, which was more pronounced in patients with auditory hallucinations compared with patients without. In patients with hallucinations, this pattern of performance was specific to self-recognition processes and not to the recognition of new external information. A striking finding was the homogeneity in results across studies regardless of the action modality, timing delay, and design used to measure self-recognition. In summary, this review of studies from the last 30 years substantiates the view that self-recognition is impaired in patients with schizophrenia and particularly those with auditory hallucinations. This suggests an association, perhaps a causal one, between such deficit and hallucinatory experiences in schizophrenia. © 2012 The Author. Source

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