Measuring memory-prediction errors and their consequences in youth at risk for schizophrenia.
The largely consistent columnar circuitry observed throughout the cortex may serve to continuously predict bottom-up activation based on invariant memories. This "memory-prediction" function is essential to efficient and accurate perception. Many of the defined cognitive deficits associated with schizophrenia suggest a breakdown of memory-prediction function. As deficits in memory-prediction function are proposed to lie more proximal to the biological causes of schizophrenia than deficits in standard cognitive constructs, tests that more directly probe memory-prediction function may be especially sensitive predictors of conversion in individuals at high-risk for schizophrenia. In this article, we review the conceptual basis for this hypothesis, and outline how it may be tested with specific cognitive paradigms. The accurate identification of cognitive processes that precede the onset of psychosis will not only be useful for clinicians to predict which young people are at greatest risk for schizophrenia, but will also help determine the neurobiology of psychosis onset, thus leading to new and effective treatments for preventing schizophrenia and other psychoses.
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