Neurobiology of cognitive remediation therapy for schizophrenia: A systematic review

Anders Lillevik Thorsen, Kyrre Johansson, Else Marie Løberg

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47 Citations (Scopus)


Cognitive impairment is an important aspect of schizophrenia, where cognitive remediation therapy (CRT) is a promising treatment for improving cognitive functioning. While neurobiological dysfunction in schizophrenia has been the target of much research, the neural substrate of cognitive remediation and recovery has not been thoroughly examined. The aim of the present article is to systematically review the evidence for neural changes after CRT for schizophrenia.The reviewed studies indicate that CRT affects several brain regions and circuits, including prefrontal, parietal, and limbic areas, both in terms of activity and structure. Changes in prefrontal areas are the most reported finding, fitting to previous evidence of dysfunction in this region. Two limitations of the current research are the few studies and the lack of knowledge on the mechanisms underlying neural and cognitive changes after treatment. Despite these limitations, the current evidence suggests that CRT is associated with both neurobiological and cognitive improvement. The evidence from these findings may shed light on both the neural substrate of cognitive impairment in schizophrenia, and how better treatment can be developed and applied.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberArticle 103
JournalFrontiers in psychiatry
Issue numberAUG
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Cognitive remediation therapy
  • Cognitive training
  • Neurocognition
  • Neuroimaging
  • Schizophrenia

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