Sophia Vinogradov, MD
Professor and Head,
Department of Psychiatry,
University of Minnesota
Host: Rob Malenka
Schizophrenia and other psychotic illnesses are debilitating psychiatric syndromes characterized by hallucinations, delusions, and disorganized behavior. These illnesses have strong genetic and developmental features, and individuals typically show increasing symptoms and cognitive dysfunction until the onset of the first episode of psychosis during adolescence or early adulthood. Neural system findings include functional “dysconnectivity” and neural activity timing impairments within and across cortical and subcortical sectors; they are present in attenuated form prior to illness onset and worsen as illness progresses.
Even though most current psychiatric treatments focus on symptom management and psychosocial rehabilitation, the neurocognitive deficits are more significant determinants of functional outcome than are symptoms. I will present behavioral and neuroimaging data from studies of neuroscience-informed cognitive training in young individuals with recent-onset of psychosis. These interventions target improvement in a range of cognitive and social cognitive processes, generate widespread neural system plasticity and are associated with symptom improvement. Taken together, the emerging data indicate that a third treatment arm for serious psychiatric illness is possible—one that explicitly harnesses learning-depending neuroplasticity to generate adaptive cognitive and behavioral change in impaired brains.
 Danielle A Schlosser, Timothy R Campellone, Brandy Truong, Kevin Etter, Silvia Vergani, Kiya Komaiko, and Sophia Vinogradov. Efficacy of PRIME, a Mobile App Intervention Designed to Improve Motivation in Young People With Schizophrenia. Schizophr Bull. 2018 Aug; 44(5): 1010–1020. DOI: 10.1093/schbul/sby078
 Joshua T. Kantrowitz,Neal R. Swerdlow, Walter Dunn, and Sophia Vinogradov. Auditory System Target Engagement During Plasticity-Based Interventions in Schizophrenia: A Focus on Modulation of N-Methyl-D-Aspartate-Type Glutamate Receptor Function. Biol Psychiatry Cogn Neurosci Neuroimaging. 2018 Jul; 3(7): 581–590. DOI: 10.1016/j.bpsc.2018.02.002