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Reward-dependent modulation of working memory is associated with negative symptoms in schizophrenia


Hager, Oliver M; Kirschner, Matthias; Bischof, Martin; Hartmann-Riemer, Matthias N; Kluge, Agne; Seifritz, Erich; Tobler, Philippe N; Kaiser, Stefan (2015). Reward-dependent modulation of working memory is associated with negative symptoms in schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Research, 168(1-2):238-244.

Abstract

The negative symptoms of schizophrenia have been associated with altered neural activity during both reward processing and cognitive processing. Even though increasing evidence suggests a strong interaction between these two domains, it has not been studied in relation to negative symptoms. To elucidate neural mechanisms of the reward-cognition interaction, we applied a letter variant of the n-back working memory task and varied the financial incentives for performance. In the interaction contrast, we found a significantly activated cluster in the rostral anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), the middle frontal gyrus, and the bilateral superior frontal gyrus. The interaction did not differ significantly between the patient group and a healthy control group, suggesting that patients with schizophrenia are on average able to integrate reward information and utilize this information to maximize cognitive performance. However within the patient group, we found a significant inverse correlation of ACC activity with the factor diminished expression. This finding is consistent with the model that a lack of available cognitive resources leads to diminished expression. We therefore argue that patients with diminished expression have difficulties in recruiting additional cognitive resources (as implemented in the ACC) in response to an anticipated reward. Due to this lack of cognitive resources, less processing capacity is available for effective expression, resulting in diminished expressive behavior.

Abstract

The negative symptoms of schizophrenia have been associated with altered neural activity during both reward processing and cognitive processing. Even though increasing evidence suggests a strong interaction between these two domains, it has not been studied in relation to negative symptoms. To elucidate neural mechanisms of the reward-cognition interaction, we applied a letter variant of the n-back working memory task and varied the financial incentives for performance. In the interaction contrast, we found a significantly activated cluster in the rostral anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), the middle frontal gyrus, and the bilateral superior frontal gyrus. The interaction did not differ significantly between the patient group and a healthy control group, suggesting that patients with schizophrenia are on average able to integrate reward information and utilize this information to maximize cognitive performance. However within the patient group, we found a significant inverse correlation of ACC activity with the factor diminished expression. This finding is consistent with the model that a lack of available cognitive resources leads to diminished expression. We therefore argue that patients with diminished expression have difficulties in recruiting additional cognitive resources (as implemented in the ACC) in response to an anticipated reward. Due to this lack of cognitive resources, less processing capacity is available for effective expression, resulting in diminished expressive behavior.

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2 citations in Web of Science®
3 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
04 Faculty of Medicine > Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, and Psychosomatics
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Language:English
Date:2015
Deposited On:04 Nov 2015 16:53
Last Modified:01 Nov 2016 01:00
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0920-9964
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.schres.2015.08.024
PubMed ID:26362736

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