BACKGROUND: Several studies have suggested that neuropsychological and structural brain deficits are implicated in poor insight. Few insight studies however have combined neurocognitive and structural neuroanatomical measures.
AIMS: Focusing on the ability to relabel psychotic symptoms as pathological, we examined insight, brain structure and neurocognition in first-onset psychosis.
METHOD: Voxel-based magnetic resonance imaging data were acquired from 82 individuals with psychosis and 91 controls assessed with a brief neuropsychological test battery. Insight was measured using the Schedule for the Assessment of Insight.
RESULTS: The principal analysis showed reduced general neuropsychological function was linked to poor symptom relabelling ability. A subsequent between-psychosis group analysis found those with no symptom relabelling ability had significant global and regional grey matter deficits primarily located at the posterior cingulate gyrus and right precuneus/cuneus.
CONCLUSIONS: The cingulate gyrus (as part of a midline cortical system) along with right hemisphere regions may be involved in illness and symptom self-appraisal in first-onset psychosis.