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Neuroimage. 2001 Apr;13(4):589-600.

Reduced event-related current density in the anterior cingulate cortex in schizophrenia.

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Laboratory for Clinical Psychophysiology, Free University, Berlin, Germany.


There is good evidence from neuroanatomic postmortem and functional imaging studies that dysfunction of the anterior cingulate cortex plays a prominent role in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. So far, no electrophysiological localization study has been performed to investigate this deficit. We investigated 18 drug-free schizophrenic patients and 25 normal subjects with an auditory choice reaction task and measured event-related activity with 19 electrodes. Estimation of the current source density distribution in Talairach space was performed with low-resolution electromagnetic tomography (LORETA). In normals, we could differentiate between an early event-related potential peak of the N1 (90-100 ms) and a later N1 peak (120-130 ms). Subsequent current-density LORETA analysis in Talairach space showed increased activity in the auditory cortex area during the first N1 peak and increased activity in the anterior cingulate gyrus during the second N1 peak. No activation difference was observed in the auditory cortex between normals and patients with schizophrenia. However, schizophrenics showed significantly less anterior cingulate gyrus activation and slowed reaction times. Our results confirm previous findings of an electrical source in the anterior cingulate and an anterior cingulate dysfunction in schizophrenics. Our data also suggest that anterior cingulate function in schizophrenics is disturbed at a relatively early time point in the information-processing stream (100-140 ms poststimulus).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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