Motivational deficits in patients with schizophrenia adversely affect various domains of daily living. This symptom in everyday life situations manifests in a complex behavioral pattern whose root cannot be simplified to an impaired reward-motivation scheme. This study aimed to identify impairment of the salience network that underlies motivational deficits seen in patients with schizophrenia in real-life situations. During the functional magnetic resonance imaging scan, 20 patients with schizophrenia and 20 normal controls performed a task mimicking real-life situations, in which an avatar proposed participation in a daily activity with either an intrinsic or extrinsic reward. Group and type-of-reward effects were evaluated with respect to brain activity. Further, psychophysiological interactions were analyzed for the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) and insula, which are the key nodes of the salience network. The acceptance of the proposal was significantly higher for intrinsic than for extrinsic rewards in controls, whereas patients showed no difference. The imaging results showed a group effect in the dACC, right insula, thalamus, and lingual gyrus. The dACC showed negative contrast interaction with regions of the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, and the right insula showed positive contrast interaction with the occipital gyrus and precentral gyrus. These results suggest that patients exhibit no different participation behavior between activities with intrinsic and extrinsic rewards, which can be explained by the floor effect. Disrupted salience processing in schizophrenia including aberrant salience network and a disconnection of the salience and reward networks may account for the lack of motivation for daily activities.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Biological Psychiatry