The goals of the UCLA Center for Neurocognition and Emotion in Schizophrenia are to:

  • Translate major advances in basic behavioral research on cognitive and emotional processes into new clinical research.
  • Advance understanding of the fundamental role that core neurocognitive and affective abnormalities play in how well individuals with schizophrenia are able to function at community (e.g., at work, school, and home).
  • Examine different phases of illness as well as the short-term developmental course of schizophrenia as means of shedding much more light on the roles of the core neurocognitive and emotional abnormalities in illness onset, progression or recovery.

Located primarily at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Semel Institute of Neuroscience and Human Behavior, a multidisciplinary institute on the UCLA campus devoted to the study of human behavior and mental disorders, is a collaboration between basic behavioral scientists and clinical researchers.

All of the clinical investigators of the Center have long standing interests in all aspects of schizophrenia, in how these variables determine functional outcome, and how they change across phases of illness. The basic behavioral scientists all have unique skills and talents that, when combined with the expertise of the clinical investigators, has created a synergy that may illuminate one of the most perplexing of all psychiatric disorders.

What is Schizophrenia? People with schizophrenia have terrifying symptoms such as hearing voices, or believing that other people are reading their minds, controlling their thoughts, or plotting to harm them. They typically have enduring problems with memory, attention, and problem solving. Other less obvious symptoms are social isolation, problems understanding social interactions and knowing how to behave in social situations, and unusual speech and behavior.