Latent Profiles of Cognitive Control, Episodic Memory, and Visual Perception across Psychiatric Disorders Reveal a Dimensional Structure

Jason Smucny, Ana Maria Iosif, Nicholas R. Eaton, Tyler A. Lesh, J. Daniel Ragland, Deanna M. Barch, James M. Gold, Milton E. Strauss, Angus W. MacDonald, Steven M. Silverstein, Cameron S. Carter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Although meta-analyses suggest that schizophrenia (SZ) is associated with a more severe neurocognitive phenotype than mood disorders such as bipolar disorder, considerable between-subject heterogeneity exists in the phenotypic presentation of these deficits across mental illnesses. Indeed, it is unclear whether the processes that underlie cognitive dysfunction in these disorders are unique to each disease or represent a common neurobiological process that varies in severity. Here we used latent profile analysis (LPA) across 3 distinct cognitive domains (cognitive control, episodic memory, and visual integration; using data from the CNTRACS consortium) to identify distinct profiles of patients across psychotic illnesses. LPA was performed on a sample of 223 psychosis patients (59 with Type I bipolar disorder, 88 with SZ, and 76 with schizoaffective disorder). Seventy-three healthy control participants were included for comparison but were not included in sample LPA. Three latent profiles ("Low," "Moderate," and "High" ability) were identified as the underlying covariance across the 3 domains. The 3-profile solution provided highly similar fit to a single continuous factor extracted by confirmatory factor analysis, supporting a unidimensional structure. Diagnostic ratios did not significantly differ between profiles, suggesting that these profiles cross diagnostic boundaries (an exception being the Low ability profile, which had only one bipolar patient). Profile membership predicted Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale and Young Mania Rating Scale symptom severity as well as everyday communication skills independent of diagnosis. Biological, clinical and methodological implications of these findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)154-162
Number of pages9
JournalSchizophrenia bulletin
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020


  • bipolar disorder
  • cluster analysis
  • schizoaffective disorder
  • schizophrenia


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