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J Neurosci. 2013 Jul 10;33(28):11692-702. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0010-13.2013.

Predictive suppression of cortical excitability and its deficit in schizophrenia.

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Cognitive Neuroscience and Schizophrenia Program, Nathan Kline Institute, Orangeburg, NY 10962, USA.


Recent neuroscience advances suggest that when interacting with our environment, along with previous experience, we use contextual cues and regularities to form predictions that guide our perceptions and actions. The goal of such active "predictive sensing" is to selectively enhance the processing and representation of behaviorally relevant information in an efficient manner. Since a hallmark of schizophrenia is impaired information selection, we tested whether this deficiency stems from dysfunctional predictive sensing by measuring the degree to which neuronal activity predicts relevant events. In healthy subjects, we established that these mechanisms are engaged in an effort-dependent manner and that, based on a correspondence between human scalp and intracranial nonhuman primate recordings, their main role is a predictive suppression of excitability in task-irrelevant regions. In contrast, schizophrenia patients displayed a reduced alignment of neuronal activity to attended stimuli, which correlated with their behavioral performance deficits and clinical symptoms. These results support the relevance of predictive sensing for normal and aberrant brain function, and highlight the importance of neuronal mechanisms that mold internal ongoing neuronal activity to model key features of the external environment.

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