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Psychiatry Res. 2004 May 30;131(1):31-44.

Neural correlates of action attribution in schizophrenia.

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Institut des Sciences Cognitives, 67 boulevard Pinel, 69675 Bron Cedex, France.


Patients with first-rank symptoms (FRS) of schizophrenia do not experience all of their actions and personal states as their own. FRS may be associated with an impaired ability to correctly attribute an action to its origin. In the present study, we examined regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) with positron emission tomography during an action-attribution task in a group of patients with FRS. We used a device previously used with healthy subjects that allows the experimenter to modulate the subject's degree of movement control (and thus action attribution) of a virtual hand presented on a screen. In healthy subjects, the activity of the right angular gyrus and the insula cortex appeared to be modulated by the subject's degree of movement control of the virtual hand. In the present study, the schizophrenic patients did not show this pattern. We found an aberrant relationship between the subject's degree of control of the movements and rCBF in the right angular gyrus and no modulation in the insular cortex. The implications of these results for understanding pathological conditions such as schizophrenia are discussed.

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