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Psychiatry Res. 2011 Sep 30;193(3):138-43. doi: 10.1016/j.pscychresns.2011.03.008. Epub 2011 Jul 22.

Aberrant visual circuitry associated with normal spatial match-to-sample accuracy in schizophrenia.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurobiology, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294-0017, USA.


A goal of this study was to evaluate the function of the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) in medicated patients with schizophrenia (SZ), a small group of first-degree relatives, and healthy controls using a visual delayed match-to-sample task in conjunction with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). To mitigate performance differences between SZ and healthy controls, we used a novel task that allows for individualized adjustment of task difficulty to match ability level. We also trained participants on the task prior to scanning. Using an event-related design, we modeled three components of the match-to-sample trial: visual encoding, delay, and discrimination. We did not find significant differences in ACC/medial frontal cortex activation between the groups. However, compared to healthy controls, SZ showed decreased activation in visual processing areas during the encoding and discrimination phases of the task and in the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex during the delay. These findings emphasize the tendency of schizophrenia subjects to solve perceptual memory problems by engaging diverse regions.

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