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Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2012 Apr 27;37(1):161-8. doi: 10.1016/j.pnpbp.2011.12.011. Epub 2011 Dec 30.

Auditory orienting and inhibition of return in schizophrenia: a functional magnetic resonance imaging study.

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Psychiatry Department, University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA.


Patients with schizophrenia (SP) exhibit deficits in both attentional reorienting and inhibition of return (IOR) during visual tasks. However, it is currently unknown whether these deficits are supramodal in nature and how these deficits relate to other domains of cognitive dysfunction. In addition, the neuronal correlates of this pathological orienting response have not been investigated in either the visual or auditory modality. Therefore, 30 SP and 30 healthy controls (HC) were evaluated with an extensive clinical protocol and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during an auditory cuing paradigm. SP exhibited both increased costs and delayed IOR during auditory orienting, suggesting a prolonged interval for attentional disengagement from cued locations. Moreover, a delay in the development of IOR was associated with cognitive deficits on formal neuropsychological testing in the domains of attention/inhibition and working memory. Event-related fMRI showed the characteristic activation of a frontoparietal network (invalid trials>valid trials), but there were no differences in functional activation between patients and HC during either attentional reorienting or IOR. Current results suggest that orienting deficits are supramodal in nature in SP, and are related to higher-order cognitive deficits that directly interfere with day-to-day functioning.

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