Theory of mind in schizophrenia: exploring neural mechanisms of belief attribution.
ABSTRACT Although previous behavioral studies have shown that schizophrenia patients have impaired theory of mind (ToM), the neural mechanisms associated with this impairment are poorly understood. This study aimed to identify the neural mechanisms of ToM in schizophrenia, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) with a belief attribution task.
In the scanner, 12 schizophrenia patients and 13 healthy control subjects performed the belief attribution task with three conditions: a false belief condition, a false photograph condition, and a simple reading condition.
For the false belief versus simple reading conditions, schizophrenia patients showed reduced neural activation in areas including the temporoparietal junction (TPJ) and medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) compared with controls. Further, during the false belief versus false photograph conditions, we observed increased activations in the TPJ and the MPFC in healthy controls, but not in schizophrenia patients. For the false photograph versus simple reading condition, both groups showed comparable neural activations.
Schizophrenia patients showed reduced task-related activation in the TPJ and the MPFC during the false belief condition compared with controls, but not for the false photograph condition. This pattern suggests that reduced activation in these regions is associated with, and specific to, impaired ToM in schizophrenia.
SourceAvailable from: PubMed CentralFrontiers in Human Neuroscience 10/2014; 8:789. DOI:10.3389/fnhum.2014.00789 · 2.90 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: With the contribution of social neuroscience in neuropsychiatry, a large body of literature has suggested that schizophrenia is a product of a dysfunction in the ‘social brain’. The rising interest in the field of social neuroscience has provided an instrumental foundation for understanding how the social brain may be going wrong in schizophrenia, and how neurobiologic abnormalities may help to explain deficits in social cognition. So far, work using animal disease models and neuroimaging in patients has already made progress in uncovering some of the neurobiologic factors related to social cognitive deficits in schizophrenia. This chapter will summarize the work to date in this area, while also raising some crucial unresolved issues in this field by taking a critical view on the literature, and making future suggestions for research.Social Cognition and Metacognition in Schizophrenia, Edited by Paul H. Lysaker, Giancarlo Dimaggio, Martin Brüne, 01/2014: pages 1-27; Academic Press., ISBN: 9780124051720
Conference Paper: Processing theory of mind in natural language contexts: an efMRI studyHuman Brain Mapping, Hamburg; 06/2014