Introduction: Patients with schizophrenia exhibit several cognitive deficits, including memory impairment. Problems with recognition memory can hinder socially adaptive behavior. Previous investigations have suggested that altered activation of the frontotemporal area plays an important role in recognition memory impairment. However, the cerebral networks related to these deficits are not known. The aim of this study was to elucidate the brain networks required for recognizing socially relevant information in patients with schizophrenia performing an old–new recognition task. Methods: Sixteen patients with schizophrenia and 16 controls participated in this study. First, the subjects performed the theme-identification task during functional magnetic resonance imaging. In this task, pictures depicting social situations were presented with three words, and the subjects were asked to select the best theme word for each picture. The subjects then performed an old–new recognition task in which they were asked to discriminate whether the presented words were old or new. Task performance and neural responses in the old–new recognition task were compared between the subject groups. An independent component analysis of the functional connectivity was performed. Results: The patients with schizophrenia exhibited decreased discriminability and increased activation of the right superior temporal gyrus compared with the controls during correct responses. Furthermore, aberrant network activities were found in the frontopolar and language comprehension networks in the patients. Conclusions: The functional connectivity analysis showed aberrant connectivity in the frontopolar and language comprehension networks in the patients with schizophrenia, and these aberrations possibly contribute to their low recognition performance and social dysfunction. These results suggest that the frontopolar and language comprehension networks are potential therapeutic targets in patients with schizophrenia.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Behavioral Neuroscience