Discovering the means to prevent and cure schizophrenia is a vision that motivates many scientists. But in order to achieve this goal, we need to understand its neurobiological basis. The emergent metadiscipline of cognitive neuroscience fields an impressive array of tools that can be marshaled towards achieving this goal, including powerful new methods of imaging the brain (both structural and functional) as well as assessments of perceptual and cognitive capacities based on psychophysical procedures, experimental tasks and models developed by cognitive science. We believe that the integration of data from this array of tools offers the greatest possibilities and potential for advancing understanding of the neural basis of not only normal cognition but also the cognitive impairments that are fundamental to schizophrenia. Since sufficient expertise in the application of these tools and methods rarely reside in a single individual, or even a single laboratory, collaboration is a key element in this endeavor. Here, we review some of the products of our integrative efforts in collaboration with our colleagues on the East Coast of Australia and Pacific Rim. This research focuses on the neural basis of executive function deficits and impairments in early auditory processing in patients using various combinations of performance indices (from perceptual and cognitive paradigms), ERPs, fMRI and sMRI. In each case, integration of two or more sources of information provides more information than any one source alone by revealing new insights into structure-function relationships. Furthermore, the addition of other imaging methodologies (such as DTI) and approaches (such as computational models of cognition) offers new horizons in human brain imaging research and in understanding human behavior.
Brain Imaging and Behavior Vol. 2, Issue 4, p. 1-9