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Int J Neurosci. 2001 Jan;106(1-2):47-61.

Functional connectivity and working memory in schizophrenia: an EEG study.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of California Davis Medical Center, Sacramento, California, USA.


A leading hypothesis suggests that schizophrenic patients suffer from a disconnection syndrome. A failure in functional connectivity curtails the cortical integration and network activation needed to perform working memory tasks. Simulations with neural network models also indicate that connectivity is crucial for simulation of working memory asks. Multichannel EEG correlation-coefficient estimations are considered as a reliable measurement of connectivity patterns among cortical regions. In this study EEG samples are obtained selectively at the delay epochs of a delayed response working memory task. Results of correlation-coefficient estimations indicate a lack of statistically significant changes between non-task and task conditions in frontal, certain parietal, temporal and central channels. These findings propose that schizophrenics probably "fail" to activate the neural networks of the fronto-temporal regions. These are the networks involved in computation of the working memory task. Interestingly also good performers schizophrenics failed to activate these networks suggesting that the connectivity function is more relevant to the disorder than to task performance. If distinct deficits in cortical network activations would correlate with mental disorders it would be relevant to diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric disorders.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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