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Am J Psychiatry. 2000 Dec;157(12):2040-2.

Exploring the social brain in schizophrenia: left prefrontal underactivation during mental state attribution.

Author information

  • 1Institute of Psychiatry, King's College, London, UK. t.sharma@iop.kcl.ac.uk

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Evidence suggests that patients with schizophrenia have a deficit in "theory of mind," i.e., interpretation of the mental state of others. The authors used functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to investigate the hypothesis that patients with schizophrenia have a dysfunction in brain regions responsible for mental state attribution.

METHOD:

Mean brain activation in five male patients with schizophrenia was compared to that in seven comparison subjects during performance of a task involving attribution of mental state.

RESULTS:

During performance of the mental state attribution task, the patients made more errors and showed less blood-oxygen-level-dependent signal in the left inferior frontal gyrus.

CONCLUSIONS:

To the authors' knowledge, this is the first functional MRI study to show a deficit in the left prefrontal cortex in schizophrenia during a socioemotional task.

PMID:
11097974
DOI:
10.1176/appi.ajp.157.12.2040
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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