Functional and structural deficits in brain regions subserving face perception in schizophrenia

Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
American Journal of Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 13.56). 04/2006; 163(3):455-62. DOI: 10.1176/appi.ajp.163.3.455
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Schizophrenia impairs many cognitive functions, including face perception. Veridical face perception is critical for social interaction, including distinguishing friend from foe and familiar from unfamiliar faces. The main aim of this study was to determine whether patients with schizophrenia show less activation in neural networks related to face processing, compared with healthy subjects, and to investigate the relationships between this functional abnormality and anatomical abnormalities in the fusiform gyrus shown with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Twenty male chronic schizophrenia patients and 16 healthy comparison subjects matched with the patients for age, gender, handedness, and parental socioeconomic status underwent high-spatial-resolution MRI. Event-related potentials elicited by images of faces, cars, and hands were recorded in a separate session.
Compared to the healthy subjects, the patients with schizophrenia showed bilateral N170 amplitude reduction in response to images of faces but not to images of other objects. The patients also had smaller bilateral anterior and posterior fusiform gyrus gray matter volumes, compared to the healthy subjects. In addition, right posterior fusiform gyrus volume was significantly correlated with N170 amplitude measured at the right posterior temporal electrode site in response to images of faces in the schizophrenia patients but not in the healthy comparison subjects.
The results provide evidence for deficits in the early stages of face perception in schizophrenia. The association of these deficits with smaller fusiform gyrus volume in patients with schizophrenia, relative to healthy subjects, suggests that the fusiform gyrus is the site of a defective anatomical substrate for face processing in schizophrenia.

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    Schizophrenia Research 12/2014; 161(2-3). DOI:10.1016/j.schres.2014.12.020 · 4.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Schizophrenia is a complex mental disorder associated with not only cognitive dysfunctions, such as memory and attention deficits, but also changes in basic sensory processing. Although most studies on schizophrenia have focused on disturbances in higher-order brain functions associated with the prefrontal cortex or frontal cortex, recent investigations have also reported abnormalities in low-level sensory processes, such as the visual system. At very early stages of the disease, schizophrenia patients frequently describe in detail symptoms of a disturbance in various aspects of visual perception that may lead to worse clinical symptoms and decrease in quality of life. Therefore, the aim of this review is to describe the various studies that have explored the visual issues in schizophrenia.
    Current Psychiatry Reports 05/2015; 17(5):569. DOI:10.1007/s11920-015-0569-x · 3.05 Impact Factor

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