To stimulate the development of new drugs for the cognitive deficits of schizophrenia, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) established the Measurement and Treatment Research to Improve Cognition in Schizophrenia (MATRICS) initiative. This article presents an overview of decisions from the first MATRICS consensus conference. The goals of the meeting were to 1) identify the cognitive domains that should be represented in a consensus cognitive battery and 2) prioritize key criteria for selection of tests for the battery. Seven cognitive domains were selected based on a review of the literature and input from experts: working memory, attention/vigilance, verbal learning and memory, visual learning and memory, reasoning and problem solving, speed of processing, and social cognition. Based on discussions at this meeting, five criteria were considered essential for test selection: good test-retest reliability, high utility as a repeated measure, relationship to functional outcome, potential response to pharmacologic agents, and practicality/tolerability. The results from this meeting constitute the initial steps for reaching a consensus cognitive battery for clinical trials in schizophrenia.