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Social Cognition clinical trials at UCSF
4 in progress, 2 open to new patients

  • Adult Study Oxytocin - Behavioral

    open to eligible people ages 18–65

    In this study, investigators will examine the behavioral effects and neurophysiological mechanisms of the pro-social neuropeptide oxytocin in patients with recent-onset schizophrenia. Such research is a necessary first step towards identifying whether intranasal oxytocin administration can serve as an adjunct treatment for social impairments in schizophrenia. Aim 1: To quantify the effects of exogenous oxytocin on social cognition and behavior in patients with recent-onset schizophrenia. Hypothesis A: Patients and healthy comparison subjects will show enhanced social cognition (e.g., improved interpretation of paralinguistic and emotional cues, such as those involved in emotional or sarcastic communication) after administration of oxytocin versus placebo. Hypothesis B: Patients and healthy comparison subjects will show increased attention to others' eyes and patients will exhibit increased facial affect expressivity after administration of oxytocin versus placebo. Aim 2: To examine the effects of exogenous oxytocin on PNS activity in patients with recent-onset schizophrenia. Hypothesis A: Patients and healthy comparison subjects will demonstrate increased PNS activity during social tasks after administration of oxytocin versus placebo. Hypothesis B (exploratory): Patients and healthy comparison subjects' improvements in social cognition and behavior will be predicted by the degree to which oxytocin increases their PNS activity.

    San Francisco, California and other locations

  • Adult Study Oxytocin - fMRI

    open to eligible males ages 18–50

    In this study, investigators will examine the behavioral effects and neurophysiological mechanisms of the pro-social neuropeptide oxytocin in patients with recent-onset schizophrenia. Such research is a necessary first step towards identifying whether intranasal oxytocin administration can serve as an adjunct treatment for social impairments in schizophrenia. Aim 1: To examine the effects of exogenous oxytocin on patterns of neural activation as measured by fMRI during a well-characterized affect-labeling task in patients with recent-onset schizophrenia and healthy comparison subjects. Hypothesis A: Patients will exhibit amygdalar hyperactivity and PNS hypo-activity when passively viewing faces, which will be normalized by administration of oxytocin. Hypothesis B: Patients will exhibit hypo-activity of the vPFC when affectively labeling faces and this hypo-activity will be normalized by oxytocin administration.

    San Francisco, California and other locations

  • Adult Oxytocin Study

    Sorry, in progress, not accepting new patients

    In this study, investigators will examine the behavioral effects and neurophysiological mechanisms of the pro-social neuropeptide oxytocin in patients with recent-onset schizophrenia. Such research is a necessary first step towards identifying whether intranasal oxytocin administration can serve as an adjunct treatment for social impairments in schizophrenia. Aim 1: To quantify the effects of exogenous oxytocin on social cognition and behavior in patients with recent-onset schizophrenia. Hypothesis A: Patients and healthy comparison subjects will show enhanced social cognition (e.g., improved interpretation of paralinguistic and emotional cues, such as those involved in emotional or sarcastic communication) after administration of oxytocin versus placebo. Hypothesis B: Patients and healthy comparison subjects will show increased attention to others' eyes and patients will exhibit increased facial affect expressivity after administration of oxytocin versus placebo. Aim 2: To examine the effects of exogenous oxytocin on persistent negative symptoms in schizophrenia (PNS) activity in patients with recent-onset schizophrenia. Hypothesis A: Patients and healthy comparison subjects will demonstrate increased PNS activity during social tasks after administration of oxytocin versus placebo. Hypothesis B (exploratory): Patients and healthy comparison subjects' improvements in social cognition and behavior will be predicted by the degree to which oxytocin increases their PNS activity.

    San Francisco, California and other locations

  • Oxytocin MEG Study

    Sorry, in progress, not accepting new patients

    The specific aim of this proposal is to investigate the neurophysiological mechanisms of oxytocin's (OT) prosocial effects in patients with schizophrenia and healthy subjects using magnetoencephalography. Hypothesis A: When OT is administered to patients with schizophrenia, fear-related amygdala hyperreactivity and fusiform gyrus (FG) and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) hypoactivity will be normalized. Hypothesis B: When OT is administered to patients with schizophrenia, the decreased functional connectivity (FC) between the amygdala, FG, and ACC will be normalized. By elucidating the neurophysiological mechanisms of OT administration on emotional face processing, investigators will bee able to: 1. understand the pathophysiology of the functionally debilitating social cognitive deficits of schizophrenia, 2. test the efficacy of OT in normalizing the neural abnormalities underlying these social deficits, and 3. develop and optimize novel treatments for these currently untreatable deficits.

    San Francisco, California