Brain-based ranking of cognitive domains to predict schizophrenia
Hum Brain Mapp
Schizophrenia is a devastating brain disorder that disturbs sensory perception, motor action, and abstract thought. Its clinical phenotype implies dysfunction of various mental domains, which has motivated a series of theories regarding the underlying pathophysiology. Aiming at a predictive benchmark of a catalog of cognitive functions, we developed a data-driven machine-learning strategy and provide a proof of principle in a multisite clinical dataset (n = 324). Existing neuroscientific knowledge on diverse cognitive domains was first condensed into neurotopographical maps. We then examined how the ensuing meta-analytic cognitive priors can distinguish patients and controls using brain morphology and intrinsic functional connectivity. Some affected cognitive domains supported well-studied directions of research on auditory evaluation and social cognition. However, rarely suspected cognitive domains also emerged as disease relevant, including self-oriented processing of bodily sensations in gustation and pain. Such algorithmic charting of the cognitive landscape can be used to make targeted recommendations for future mental health research.