Objective: Most patients with schizophrenia suffer from various types of hallucinations, which commonly produce distress, functional disability or behavioral dyscontrol. The neural process of adapting to hallucinations in patients with schizophrenia remains unknown. Methods: Functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) responses to an unusual threatening visual stimulus designed to simulate a hallucinatory experience were compared between 16 patients with schizophrenia and 17 healthy controls. Linear and quadratic repetition-variant as well as repetition-invariant responses to the stimulus were compared between the two groups. Results: Repetition-invariant responses were similar between patients with schizophrenia and healthy controls. Patients with schizophrenia exhibited a linear activation pattern in the anterior cingulate, whereas healthy controls exhibited a parabolic activation pattern in the anterior prefrontal cortex, occipito-temporal junction and amygdala. Conclusions: These results provide us with a better understanding of the neural processes involved in gaining insight into unreality. Patients with schizophrenia may use a salience-related region instead of reality monitoring-related regions to react to the unusual stimuli, and this peculiarity of the neural processes may be related to vulnerability to psychosis.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Biological Psychiatry