In patients treated with conventional (first-generation) neuroleptics, reduced performance in spatial processing and verbal fluency has been occasionally reported. Studies by our research group have demonstrated that neuroleptic-induced extrapyramidal symptoms as well as high doses of conventional (but not atypical) antipsychotics are accompanied by an increased number of subjective neurocognitive complaints (Moritz, Krausz, Gottwalz, & Andresen, 2000; Moritz et al., 2001; Moritz, Woodward, PERSIST Study Group, Krausz, & Naber, 2002).

The aim of our current projects is to confirm these findings with objective neuropsychological tests and questionnaires regarding neurocognition. Furthermore, we are trying to replicate previous results indicating that subjective cognitive dysfunctions at baseline are associated with a less favorable symptomatic outcome (Moritz, Krausz, Gottwalz, Lambert, et al., 2000; Moritz, Perro, Woodward, & Krausz, 2002). In addition, we work in close cooperation with PD Dr. Anne Karow and Prof. Dr. Martin Lambert, who are especially interested in quality of life under antipsychotics (Karow, Moritz, Krausz, & Naber, 2000) and in specific treatment indications for antipsychotics, respectively (Lambert, Moritz, & Naber, 1999; Lambert, Moritz, Haasen, & Naber, 2000). We are also investigating whether antipsychotic agents ameliorate existing metamemory problems, particularly whether they reduce overconfidence (see Moritz, Woodward, Jelinek, & Klinge, 2008). Moreover, in more recent projects we are trying to identify the cognitive mechanisms through which neuroleptics exert their effects on positive symptoms (e.g., enhanced emotional detachment; see Moritz, Andreou, Klingberg, Thoering, & Peters, 2013). Finally, we are exploring the importance of memory problems (Moritz et al., 2009) as well as other factors that contribute to nonadherence, such as a positive attitude towards symptoms (Moritz, Favrod, et al., 2013).

Research Team

  • PD Dr. Christina Andreou
  • PD Dr. Anne Karow
  • Prof. Dr. Martin Lambert
  • Prof. Dr. Steffen Moritz


Karow, A., Moritz, S., Krausz, M., & Naber, D. (2000). Lebensqualität bei schizophrenen Patienten unter der Behandlung mit atypischen Neuroleptika. [Quality of life in schizophrenic patients treated with atypical antipsychotics.] In M. Bullinger, J. Siegrist, & U. Ravens-Sieberer (Eds.), Lebensqualitätsforschung aus medizinpsychologischer und-soziologischer Sicht (pp. 98-109). Göttingen, Germany: Hogrefe.

Lambert, M., Moritz, S., Haasen, C., & Naber, D. (2000). Umstellung von typischen auf atypische Neuroleptika. Richtlinien zur ambulanten und stationären Behandlung. [Switching from typical to atypical antipsychotics. Guidelines for inpatient and outpatient settings.] Nervenarzt, 71, 859-875.

Lambert, M., Moritz, S., & Naber, D. (1999). Optimierung der Behandlung schizophrener Patienten mit atypischen Antipsychotika. Psychopharmakotherapie. [Optimizing the treatment of schizophrenic patients with atypical antipsychotics.]  Psychopharmakotherapie, 3, 42-54.

Moritz, S., Andreou, C., Klingberg, S., Thoering, T., & Peters, M. J. (2013). Assessment of subjective cognitive and emotional effects of antipsychotic drugs. Effect by defect? Neuropharmacology, 72, 179-186.

Moritz, S., Favrod, J., Andreou, C., Morrison, A. P., Bohn, F., Veckenstedt, R., Tonn, P. & Karow, A. (2013). Beyond the usual suspects: Positive attitudes towards positive symptoms is associated with medication noncompliance in psychosis. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 39, 917-922.

Moritz, S., Krausz, M., Gottwalz, E., & Andresen, B. (2000). The impact of neuroleptics on basic symptoms. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 41, 284-288.

Moritz, S., Krausz, M., Gottwalz, E., Lambert, M., Perro, C., Ganzer, S., & Naber, D. (2000). Cognitive dysfunction at baseline predicts symptomatic one-year outcome in first-episode schizophrenics. Psychopathology, 33, 48-51.

Moritz, S., Naber, D., Lausen, A., Küppers, D., Lambert, M., Karow, A., & Krausz, M. (2001). Primäre und sekundäre Konsequenzen typischer und atypischer Neuroleptika auf das subjektive kognitive Leistungsvermögen. [Primary and secondary consequences of typical and atypical antipsychotics for the subjective cognitive capacity.] In D. Naber & F. Müller-Spahn (Eds.), Clozapin. Pharmakologie und Klinik eines atypischen Neuroleptikums (pp. 91-95). Berlin, Germany: Springer.

Moritz, S., Perro, C., Woodward, T. S., & Krausz, M. (2002) Subjective cognitive dysfunction in first-episode patients predicts symptomatic outcome: A replication. Psychopathology, 35, 367-368.

Moritz, S., Peters, M. J. V., Karow, A., Deljkovic, A., Tonn, P., & Naber, D. (2009). Cure or curse? Ambivalent attitudes towards neuroleptic medication in schizophrenia and non-schizophrenia patients. Mental Illness, 1, 4-9. 

Moritz, S., Woodward, T. S., Jelinek, L., & Klinge, R. (2008). Memory and metamemory in schizophrenia: A liberal acceptance account of psychosis. Psychological Medicine, 38, 825-832. 

Moritz, S., Woodward, T. S., PERSIST Study Group, Krausz, M., & Naber, D. (2002). Relationship between neuroleptic dosage and subjective cognitive dysfunction in schizophrenic patients treated with either conventional or atypical neuroleptic medication. International Clinical Psychopharmacology, 17, 41-44.