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Reverse translated and gold standard continuous performance tests predict global cognitive performance in schizophrenia.

  • Author(s): Bismark, Andrew W;
  • Thomas, Michael L;
  • Tarasenko, Melissa;
  • Shiluk, Alexandra L;
  • Rackelmann, Sonia Y;
  • Young, Jared W;
  • Light, Gregory A
  • et al.

Attentional dysfunction contributes to functional impairments in schizophrenia (SZ). Sustained attention is typically assessed via continuous performance tasks (CPTs), though many CPTs have limited cross-species translational validity and place demands on additional cognitive domains. A reverse-translated 5-Choice Continuous Performance Task (5C-CPT) for human testing-originally developed for use in rodents-was designed to minimize demands on perceptual, visual learning, processing speed, or working memory functions. To-date, no studies have validated the 5C-CPT against gold standard attentional measures nor evaluated how 5C-CPT scores relate to cognition in SZ. Here we examined the relationship between the 5C-CPT and the CPT-Identical Pairs (CPT-IP), an established and psychometrically robust measure of vigilance from the MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery (MCCB) in a sample of SZ patients (n = 35). Relationships to global and individual subdomains of cognition were also assessed. 5C-CPT and CPT-IP measures of performance (d-prime) were strongly correlated (r = 0.60). In a regression model, the 5C-CPT and CPT-IP collectively accounted for 54% of the total variance in MCCB total scores, and 27.6% of overall cognitive variance was shared between the 5C-CPT and CPT-IP. These results indicate that the reverse translated 5C-CPT and the gold standard CPT-IP index a common attentional construct that also significantly overlaps with variance in general cognitive performance. The use of simple, cross-species validated behavioral indices of attentional/cognitive functioning such as the 5C-CPT could accelerate the development of novel generalized pro-cognitive therapeutics for SZ and related neuropsychiatric disorders.

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