Linkage and fine mapping studies have established that the neuregulin 3 gene (NRG3) is a susceptibility locus for schizophrenia. Association studies of this disorder have implicated NRG3 variants in both psychotic symptoms and attention performance. Psychotic symptoms and cognitive deficits are also frequent features of bipolar disorder. The aims of the present study were to extend analysis of the association between NRG3 and psychotic symptoms and attention in schizophrenia and to determine whether these associations also apply to bipolar disorder. A total of 358 patients with schizophrenia and 111 patients with bipolar disorder were included. Psychotic symptoms were evaluated using the Operational Criteria Checklist for Psychotic Illness (OPCRIT) and attention performance was assessed using the Trail Making Test (TMT). Symptoms and performance scores were then tested for association with the NRG3 variant rs6584400. A significant association was found between the number of rs6584400 minor alleles and the total OPCRIT score for psychotic symptoms in patients with schizophrenia. Moreover, in both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder patients, minor allele carriers of rs6584400 outperformed homozygous major allele carriers in the TMT. The results suggest that rs6584400 is associated with psychotic symptoms and attention performance in schizophrenia. The finding of a significant association between rs6584400 and attention performance in bipolar disorder supports the hypothesis that this NRG3 variant confers genetic susceptibility to cognitive deficits in both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.