Journal Article

Shaping Attention Span: An Operant Conditioning Procedure to Improve Neurocognition and Functioning in Schizophrenia

Steven M. Silverstein, Anthony A. Menditto and Paul Stuve

in Schizophrenia Bulletin

Published on behalf of Maryland Psychiatric Research Center

Volume 27, issue 2, pages 247-257
Published in print January 2001 | ISSN: 0586-7614
Published online January 2001 | e-ISSN: 1745-1701 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordjournals.schbul.a006871
Shaping Attention Span: An Operant Conditioning Procedure to Improve Neurocognition and Functioning in Schizophrenia

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The high prevalence of neurocognitive deficits in schizophrenia, and their association with poorer outcomes, has created interest in treatments that can improve neurocognitive functioning in this illness. While a variety of rehabilitation interventions have been developed, many are not appropriate for the most severely ill patients, whose attention spans are so short that they cannot attend to the material being presented. For this population, the only neurocognitive rehabilitation methods with demonstrated effectiveness are those that involve the operant conditioning technique known as shaping. In this article, we review the rationale for the use of shaping-based methods as neurocognitive retraining techniques for treatment-refractory schizophrenia patients, review published reports using this intervention, and offer suggestions for the future development of this method from both clinical and research perspectives.

Keywords: schizophrenia; attention; cognition; cognitive rehabilitation; psychiatric rehabilitation

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

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