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Schizophr Res. 2004 Oct 1;70(2-3):241-61.

Attention, motor control and motor imagery in schizophrenia: implications for the role of the parietal cortex.

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Canada Research Chair (Tier II) in Cognitive Neuroscience, Department of Psychology, University of Waterloo, 200 University Avenue West, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada N2L 3G1.


Many recent models of schizophrenia have attempted to explain the so-called first-rank symptoms in terms of a breakdown in the self-monitoring of thoughts and behaviours. These models have focused on the most common symptom of schizophrenia auditory hallucinations-suggesting that they may represent disordered self-monitoring of internal speech. As such, much attention has been given to the role of the temporal and frontal cortices in the clinical presentation of patients with schizophrenia. In this review, we examine the role of the posterior parietal cortex (PPC) in schizophrenia within the context of recent models of self-monitoring deficits in these patients. Attentional dysfunctions and certain impairments of motor control and motor imagery all point towards the involvement of the parietal cortex in the disorder. In particular, we suggest that patients experiencing passivity phenomena (e.g., delusions of control) may have particular impairments of parietal function related to poor utilisation of forward models of intended actions. We also present a novel hypothesis that suggests differential impairments of the left and right parietal cortices in schizophrenia may help explain many of the first-rank symptoms of the disorder.

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