Distinct profiles of psychological and neuropsychological functions underlying goal-directed pursuit in schizophrenia Journal Articles uri icon

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  • Objectives: Several components are known to underlie goal-directed pursuit, including executive, motivational and volitional functions. These were explored in schizophrenia spectrum disorders in order to identify subgroups with distinct profiles. Methods: Multiple executive, motivational and volitional tests were administered to a sample of outpatients with schizophrenia spectrum diagnoses ( nā€‰=ā€‰59) and controls ( nā€‰=ā€‰63). Research questions included whether distinct profiles exist and whether some functions are impacted disproportionately. These questions were addressed via cluster analysis and profile analysis, respectively. Results: Some such functions were significantly altered in schizophrenia while others were unaffected. Two distinct profiles emerged, one characterized by energizing deficits, reduced reward sensitivity and few subjective complaints; while another was characterized by markedly increased punishment sensitivity, intact reward sensitivity and substantial subjective reporting of avolitional symptoms and boredom susceptibility. Conclusion: These findings highlight the importance of considering distinct patterns of strengths and deficits in functions governing goal-directed pursuit in schizophrenia that demarcate identifiable subtypes. These distinctions have implications for treatment, assessment and research.


  • Gerritsen, Cory J
  • Goldberg, Joel
  • Kiang, Michael
  • Remington, Gary
  • Foussias, George
  • Eastwood, John D

publication date

  • December 2022