Social Cognition: Interpersonal and Emotional Processes

Project summary

Social cognition refers to how people think about other people. This project is intended to examine aspects of social cognition across different phases of illness (prodromal, first-episode, and chronic). The current phase of this research program will extend findings from the first phase in several ways.

  • First, we will look beyond static measures of social cognition across phases of illness and we will introduce a dynamic measure of social cognition.
  • Second, we will try to better understand the nature of the relationships among basic cognition, social cognition, and functional outcome using a subset of social cognitive measures from the current study.
  • Third, going beyond the findings of short-term stability of performance, we will examine long-term stability on specific measures of social cognition after an average of 5 years.
  • Fourth, we will extend findings from the Center Memory project by assessing recollection and familiarity of social stimuli with a newly developed version of the Remember-Know (R-K) paradigm.

This project will provide a better understanding about how areas of social cognition are related to community functioning in schizophrenia across phases of illness. The project is led by Michael Green, Ph.D., UCLA Professor of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences. Others members of the team include Drs. William Horan, Kimmy Kee, Robert Kern, and Mark Sergi. The behavioral scientist collaborators on the project are: Alan Fiske (UCLA Department of Anthropology) and Barbara Knowlton (UCLA Psychology).

Current status: Completed


Primary Investigator: Michael Green

Co-Investigators: Kimmy Kee, Robert S Kern

Other Investigators: William Horan (UCLA), Alan Fiske (UCLA Department of Anthropology), Barbara Knowlton (UCLA Psychology).



The primary goal of this project has been to examine specific components of social cognition across phases of illness using performance-based measures. We do not have any publications from the current phase of the research. Publications from our previous phase include:

Kee, K.S., Horan, W.P., Salovey, P., Kern, R.S., Sergi, M.J., Fiske, A.P., Lee, J., Subotnik, K.L., Nuechterlein, K.H., Sugar, C.A., Green, M.F. (2009). Emotional intelligence in schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Research, 107, 61-68.

Sergi, M.J., Fiske, A.P., Horan, W.P., Kern, R.S., Kee, K.S., Subotnik, K.L., Nuechterlein, K.H., & Green. M.F. (2009). Development of a measure of relationship perception in schizophrenia. Psychiatry Research, 166, 54-62.

Kern, R.S., Green, M.F., Fiske, A.P., Kee, K.S., Lee, J., Sergi, M.J., Horan, W.P., Subotnik, K.L., Sugar, C.A., Nuechterlein, K.H. (2009). Theory of mind deficits for processing counterfactual information in persons with chronic schizophrenia. Psychological Medicine, 39, 645-654. PMCID: PMC2928136.

Green, M.F., Bearden, C.E., Cannon, T.D., Fiske, A.P., Hellemann, G.S., Horan, W.P., Kee-Rose, K., Kern, R.S., Lee, J., Sergi M.J., Subotnik, K.L., Sugar, C. A., Ventura, J., Yee, C.M., Nuechterlein, K.H. (2012). Social cognition in schizophrenia, Part 1: Performance across phases of illness. Schizophrenia bulletin, 38, 854-864.

Horan, W.P., Green, M.F., DeGroot, M., Fiske, A.P., Hellemann, G.S., Kee-Rose, K., Kern, R.S., Lee, J., Sergi M.J., Subotnik, K.L., Sugar, C. A., Ventura, J., Nuechterlein, K.H. (2012). Social cognition in schizophrenia, Part 2: 12-month stability and prediction of functional outcome in first-episode patients. Schizophrenia bulletin, 38, 865-872.