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Schizophr Res. 2006 Apr;83(2-3):121-30. Epub 2006 Feb 23.

Neural activation during successful and unsuccessful verbal learning in schizophrenia.

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Department of Clinical Psychology, University of Wuppertal, Max-Horkheimer-Strasse 20, D-42119 Wuppertal, Germany.


Successful and unsuccessful intention to learn words was assessed by means of event-related functional MRI. Eighteen patients with schizophrenia and 15 healthy control participants were scanned while being given two word lists to read and another seven to learn with immediate recall. Neural activation patterns were segregated according to whether words were subsequently recalled or forgotten and these conditions were contrasted with each other and reading. Compared to controls, patients with schizophrenia showed deficits with regard to neural recruitment of right hippocampus and of cerebellar structures during successful verbal learning. Furthermore, a reversal of activated structures was evident in the two groups: Controls showed activation of right frontal and left middle temporal structures during the unsuccessful intention to learn. During successful learning, there was additional activation of right superior parietal lobule. In contrast, patients showed activation of right superior parietal lobule during unsuccessful and successful intention to learn. There were additional frontal and left middle temporal lobe activations during successful learning. We conclude that increased parietal activity may reflect a mechanism which compensates for the lack of hippocampal and cerebellar contributions to verbal learning in schizophrenia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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