Deficits in metacognitive capacity in schizophrenia can be conceptualized as existing along a spectrum from more discrete to more synthetic activities. These capacities may be of great importance in schizophrenia research given their potential to mediate and moderate the impact of illness-related factors on outcome. To explore this possibility this review summarizes research on synthetic metacognition using a paradigm in which metacognitive capacity is rated on the basis of spontaneously produced personal narratives. Evidence from a review of the literature shows that these deficits are detectable in patients with schizophrenia and are related to, but not reducible to, symptom severity and poorer neurocognitive function. Independent of symptoms and neurocognition, deficits in synthetic metacognition, which are likely linked to the brain's ability to integrate information, are related to a range of outcomes including functional competence, learning potential, and insight. These deficits may also play a role in long term psychosocial functioning via their impact on the ability to sustain social functions.
- Quality of life
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