Schizophrenia and Social Cognition: A Review of Concepts and Treatment Options

Carlos Andres Penaherrera and Maria Carolina Duarte

Social cognition is a neuropsychological domain of the human psyche, in charge of processing the information about ourselves and the people that surrounds us. This includes recognition of faces and emotions, facial expression, experience sharing, reactions, and inferring people’s mental processes. Schizophrenia is the most severe condition in the psychotic disease range, presenting with both positive and negative symptoms. Social cognition is affected in schizophrenic patients, impairing their ability to function properly in society. Recent research has been done in the areas of emotion and face recognition in schizophrenics, with the aim of improving treatment options through various neuropsychiatric approaches. In the medical field, oxytocin has been discovered to be a key molecule in mediating human social performance, and its use is being studied for improving social cognition in schizophrenia. We offer a review and update on the main concepts of social cognition and its disturbances caused by schizophrenia, along with the treatment options available and the direction in which future research is heading