Skip to main content Accessibility help

Familial aggregation of MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery scores in a large sample of outpatients with schizophrenia and their unaffected relatives

  • A. Mucci (a1), S. Galderisi (a1), M. F. Green (a2) (a3), K. Nuechterlein (a2) (a4), P. Rucci (a5), D. Gibertoni (a5), A. Rossi (a6), P. Rocca (a7), A. Bertolino (a8), P. Bucci (a1), G. Hellemann (a2), M. Spisto (a1), D. Palumbo (a1), E. Aguglia (a9), G. Amodeo (a10), M. Amore (a11), A. Bellomo (a12), R. Brugnoli (a13), B. Carpiniello (a14), L. Dell'Osso (a15), F. Di Fabio (a16), M. di Giannantonio (a17), G. Di Lorenzo (a18), C. Marchesi (a19), P. Monteleone (a20), C. Montemagni (a7), L. Oldani (a21), R. Romano (a8), R. Roncone (a22), P. Stratta (a6), E. Tenconi (a23), A. Vita (a24), P. Zeppegno (a25), M. Maj (a1) and Italian Network for Research on Psychoses...



The increased use of the MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery (MCCB) to investigate cognitive dysfunctions in schizophrenia fostered interest in its sensitivity in the context of family studies. As various measures of the same cognitive domains may have different power to distinguish between unaffected relatives of patients and controls, the relative sensitivity of MCCB tests for relative–control differences has to be established. We compared MCCB scores of 852 outpatients with schizophrenia (SCZ) with those of 342 unaffected relatives (REL) and a normative Italian sample of 774 healthy subjects (HCS). We examined familial aggregation of cognitive impairment by investigating within-family prediction of MCCB scores based on probands’ scores.


Multivariate analysis of variance was used to analyze group differences in adjusted MCCB scores. Weighted least-squares analysis was used to investigate whether probands’ MCCB scores predicted REL neurocognitive performance.


SCZ were significantly impaired on all MCCB domains. REL had intermediate scores between SCZ and HCS, showing a similar pattern of impairment, except for social cognition. Proband's scores significantly predicted REL MCCB scores on all domains except for visual learning.


In a large sample of stable patients with schizophrenia, living in the community, and in their unaffected relatives, MCCB demonstrated sensitivity to cognitive deficits in both groups. Our findings of significant within-family prediction of MCCB scores might reflect disease-related genetic or environmental factors.


Corresponding author

Author for correspondence: A. Mucci, E-mail:


Hide All

The members of the Italian Network for Research on Psychoses are listed in the Appendix.



Hide All
Blokland, GA, et al. (2017) Heritability of neuropsychological measures in schizophrenia and nonpsychiatric populations: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Schizophrenia Bulletin 43, 788800.
Bora, E, et al. (2014) Cognitive deficits in youth with familial and clinical high risk to psychosis: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica 130, 115.
Bora, E and Pantelis, C (2013) Theory of mind impairments in first-episode psychosis, individuals at ultra-high risk for psychosis and in first-degree relatives of schizophrenia: systematic review and meta-analysis. Schizophrenia Research 144, 3136.
Bowie, CR, et al. (2006) Determinants of real-world functional performance in schizophrenia subjects: correlations with cognition, functional capacity, and symptoms. American Journal of Psychiatry 163, 418425.
Braff, DL and Tamminga, CA (2017) Endophenotypes, epigenetics, polygenicity and more: Irv Gottesman's Dynamic Legacy. Schizophrenia Bulletin 43, 1016.
Brahmbhatt, SB, et al. (2006) Neural correlates of verbal and nonverbal working memory deficits in individuals with schizophrenia and their high-risk siblings. Schizophrenia Research 87, 191204.
Calkins, ME, et al. (2013) Sex differences in familiality effects on neurocognitive performance in schizophrenia. Biological Psychiatry 73, 976984.
Calkins, ME, et al. (2010) Project among African-Americans to explore risks for schizophrenia (PAARTNERS): evidence for impairment and heritability of neurocognitive functioning in families of schizophrenia patients. American Journal of Psychiatry 167, 459472.
Chen, LS, et al. (2009) Familial aggregation of clinical and neurocognitive features in sibling pairs with and without schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Research 111, 159166.
Chen, WJ, et al. (1998) Sustained attention deficit and schizotypal personality features in nonpsychotic relatives of schizophrenic patients. American Journal of Psychiatry 155, 12141220.
Couture, SM, Granholm, EL and Fish, SC (2011) A path model investigation of neurocognition, theory of mind, social competence, negative symptoms and real-world functioning in schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Research 125, 152160.
de Achával, D, et al. (2010) Emotion processing and theory of mind in schizophrenia patients and their unaffected first-degree relatives. Neuropsychologia 48, 12091215.
Dickerson, F, et al. (2014) A longitudinal study of cognitive functioning in schizophrenia: clinical and biological predictors. Schizophrenia Research 156, 248253.
Eack, SM, et al. (2010) Social cognition deficits among individuals at familial high risk for schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Bulletin 36, 10811088.
Fett, AK, Maat, A and GROUP Investigators (2013) Social cognitive impairments and psychotic symptoms: what is the nature of their association? Schizophrenia Bulletin 39, 7785.
Fett, AK, et al. (2011) The relationship between neurocognition and social cognition with functional outcomes in schizophrenia: a meta-analysis. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews 35, 573588.
Galderisi, S, et al. (2013) Categorical and dimensional approaches to negative symptoms of schizophrenia: focus on long-term stability and functional outcome. Schizophrenia Research 147, 157162.
Galderisi, S, et al. (2009) Correlates of cognitive impairment in first episode schizophrenia: the EUFEST study. Schizophrenia Research 115, 104114.
Galderisi, S, et al. (2002) Historical, psychopathological, neurological, and neuropsychological aspects of deficit schizophrenia: a multicenter study. American Journal of Psychiatry 159, 983990.
Galderisi, S, et al. (2014) The influence of illness-related variables, personal resources and context-related factors on real-life functioning of people with schizophrenia. World Psychiatry 13, 275287.
Galderisi, S, et al. (2016) Pathways to functional outcome in subjects with schizophrenia living in the community and their unaffected first-degree relatives. Schizophrenia Research 175, 154160.
Gallagher, S and Varga, S (2015) Social cognition and psychopathology; a critical overview. World Psychiatry 14, 514.
Green, MF (2016) Impact of cognitive and social cognitive impairment on functional outcomes in patients with schizophrenia. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry 77(Suppl. 2), 811.
Green, MF, et al. (2012 a). Social cognition in schizophrenia, part 1: performance across phase of illness. Schizophrenia Bulletin 38, 854864.
Green, MF, Harris, JG and Nuechterlein, KH (2014) The MATRICS consensus cognitive battery: what we know 6 years later. American Journal of Psychiatry 171, 11511154.
Green, MF, et al. (2012 b). From perception to functional outcome in schizophrenia: modeling the role of ability and motivation. Archives of General Psychiatry 69, 12161224.
Green, MF, et al. (2000) Neurocognitive deficits and functional outcome in schizophrenia: are we measuring the “right stuff”? Schizophrenia Bulletin 26, 119136.
Green, MF, Kern, RS and Heaton, RK (2004) Longitudinal studies of cognition and functional outcome in schizophrenia: implications for MATRICS. Schizophrenia Research 72, 4151.
Green, MF, et al. (2008) Social cognition in schizophrenia: an NIMH workshop on definitions, assessment, and research opportunities. Schizophrenia Bulletin 34, 12111220.
Grove, WM, et al. (1991) Familial prevalence and coaggregation of schizotypy indicators: a multitrait family study. Journal of Abnormal Psychology 100, 115121.
Gur, RC and Gur, RE (2016) Social cognition as an RDoC domain. American Journal of Medical Genetics. Part B, Neuropsychiatric Genetics 171B, 132141.
Gur, RE, et al. (2007) Neurocognitive endophenotypes in a multiplex multigenerational family study of schizophrenia. American Journal of Psychiatry 164, 813819.
Harvey, PD and Strassnig, M (2012) Predicting the severity of everyday functional disability in people with schizophrenia: cognitive deficits, functional capacity, symptoms, and health status. World Psychiatry 11, 7379.
Heinrichs, RW and Zakzanis, KK (1998) Neurocognitive deficit in schizophrenia: a quantitative review of the evidence. Neuropsychology 12, 426445.
Hochberger, WC, et al. (2016) Unitary construct of generalized cognitive ability underlying BACS performance across psychotic disorders and in their first-degree relatives. Schizophrenia Research 170, 156161.
Hou, CL, et al. (2016) Cognitive functioning in individuals at ultra-high risk for psychosis, first-degree relatives of patients with psychosis and patients with first-episode schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Research 174, 7176.
Keefe, RS, et al. (2011) Characteristics of the MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery in a 29-site antipsychotic schizophrenia clinical trial. Schizophrenia Research 125, 161168.
Kern, RS, et al. (2011) The MCCB impairment profile for schizophrenia outpatients: results from the MATRICS psychometric and standardization study. Schizophrenia Research 126, 124131.
Kern, RS, et al. (2008) The MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery, part 2: co-norming and standardization. American Journal of Psychiatry 165, 214220.
Kohler, CG, et al. (2014) Facial emotion perception differs in young persons at genetic and clinical high-risk for psychosis. Psychiatry Research 216, 206212.
Kohler, CG, et al. (2010) Facial emotion perception in schizophrenia: a meta-analytic review. Schizophrenia Bulletin 36, 10091019.
Kurtz, MM, Jeffrey, SB and Rose, J (2010) Elementary neurocognitive function, learning potential and everyday life skills in schizophrenia: what is their relationship? Schizophrenia Research 116, 280288.
Lavoie, MA, et al. (2013) Social cognition in first-degree relatives of people with schizophrenia: a meta-analysis. Psychiatry Research 209, 129135.
Leifker, FR, Bowie, CR and Harvey, PD (2009) Determinants of everyday outcomes in schizophrenia: the influences of cognitive impairment, functional capacity, and symptoms. Schizophrenia Research 115, 8287.
Lopez-Garcia, P, et al. (2013) Impact of COMT genotype on cognition in schizophrenia spectrum patients and their relatives. Psychiatry Research 208, 118124.
Lystad, JU, et al. (2014) The MATRICS consensus cognitive battery (MCCB): performance and functional correlates. Psychiatry Research 220, 10941101.
Mancuso, F, et al. (2011) Social cognition in psychosis: multidimensional structure, clinical correlates, and relationship with functional outcome. Schizophrenia Research 125, 143151.
McCleery, A, et al. (2014) Cognitive functioning in first-episode schizophrenia: MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery (MCCB) profile of impairment. Schizophrenia Research 157, 3339.
Mohn, C, Sundet, K and Rund, BR (2012) The Norwegian standardization of the MATRICS (Measurement and Treatment Research to Improve Cognition in Schizophrenia) Consensus Cognitive Battery. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology 34, 667677.
Nuechterlein, KH, et al. (2008) The MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery, part 1: test selection, reliability, and validity. American Journal of Psychiatry 165, 203213.
Roalf, DR, et al. (2014) Within-individual variability in neurocognitive performance: age- and sex-related differences in children and youths from ages 8 to 21. Neuropsychology 28, 506518.
Rodriguez-Jimenez, R, et al. (2015) The MCCB impairment profile in a Spanish sample of patients with schizophrenia: effects of diagnosis, age, and gender on cognitive functioning. Schizophrenia Research 169, 116120.
Ruocco, AC, et al. (2014) Emotion recognition deficits in schizophrenia-spectrum disorders and psychotic bipolar disorder: findings from the bipolar-schizophrenia network on intermediate phenotypes (B-SNIP) study. Schizophrenia Research 158, 105112.
Schmidt, SJ, Mueller, DR and Roder, V (2011) Social cognition as a mediator variable between neurocognition and functional outcome in schizophrenia: empirical review and new results by structural equation modeling. Schizophrenia Bulletin 37(Suppl. 2), S41S54.
Schulze-Rauschenbach, S, et al. (2015) Neurocognitive functioning in parents of schizophrenia patients: attentional and executive performance vary with genetic loading. Psychiatry Research 230, 885891.
Seidman, LJ, et al. (2015) Factor structure and heritability of endophenotypes in schizophrenia: findings from the Consortium on the Genetics of Schizophrenia (COGS-1). Schizophrenia Research 163, 7379.
Shamsi, S, et al. (2011) Cognitive and symptomatic predictors of functional disability in schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Research 126, 257264.
Sitskoorn, MM, et al. (2004) Cognitive deficits in relatives of patients with schizophrenia: a meta-analysis. Schizophrenia Research 71, 285295.
Snitz, BE, Macdonald, AW III and Carter, CS (2006) Cognitive deficits in unaffected first-degree relatives of schizophrenia patients: a meta-analytic review of putative endophenotypes. Schizophrenia Bulletin 32, 179194.
Szöke, A, et al. (2005) Tests of executive functions in first-degree relatives of schizophrenic patients: a meta-analysis. Psychological Medicine 35, 771782.
Trandafir, A, et al. (2006) Memory tests in first-degree adult relatives of schizophrenic patients: a meta-analysis. Schizophrenia Research 81, 217226.


Type Description Title
Supplementary materials

Mucci et al supplementary material
Figures S1-S3

 Word (37 KB)
37 KB


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed