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J Abnorm Psychol. 2005 Feb;114(1):16-27.

Neural mechanisms of affective interference in schizotypy.

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Department of Psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801, USA.


Negatively valenced stimuli foster cognitive impairment in schizotypy and schizophrenia. To identify relevant brain mechanisms, the authors had 16 positive-schizotypy and 16 control participants perform an emotional Stroop task, judging the ink color of negative and neutral words during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) of regional brain activity. Schizotypy individuals showed increased right and decreased left activity in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, indicating a deficit in maintenance of attentional set in the presence of negative emotional distractors. They also showed abnormal activity in ventral limbic areas, including decreased activity in nucleus accumbens and increased activity in hippocampus and amygdala, a circuit involved in the integration of cognitive and affective processes. These results indicate that aspects of emotion-cognition processes and the brain mechanisms that implement them are similar in schizotypy and schizophrenia.

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