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Egocentric spatial learning in schizophrenia investigated with functional magnetic resonance imaging


Siemerkus, J; Irle, E; Schmidt-Samoa, C; Dechent, P; Weniger, G (2012). Egocentric spatial learning in schizophrenia investigated with functional magnetic resonance imaging. NeuroImage, 1(1):153-163.

Abstract

Psychotic symptoms in schizophrenia are related to disturbed self-recognition and to disturbed experience of agency. Possibly, these impairments contribute to first-person large-scale egocentric learning deficits. Sixteen inpatients with schizophrenia and 16 matched healthy comparison subjects underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while finding their way in a virtual maze. The virtual maze presented a first-person view, lacked any topographical landmarks and afforded egocentric navigation strategies. The participants with schizophrenia showed impaired performance in the virtual maze when compared with controls, and showed a similar but weaker pattern of activity changes during egocentric learning when compared with controls. Especially the activity of task-relevant brain regions (precuneus and posterior cingulate and retrosplenial cortex) differed from that of controls across all trials of the task. Activity increase within the right-sided precuneus was related to worse virtual maze performance and to stronger positive symptoms in participants with schizophrenia. We suggest that psychotic symptoms in schizophrenia are related to aberrant neural activity within the precuneus. Possibly, first-person large-scale egocentric navigation and learning designs may be a feasible tool for the assessment and treatment of cognitive deficits related to self-recognition in patients with schizophrenia.

Abstract

Psychotic symptoms in schizophrenia are related to disturbed self-recognition and to disturbed experience of agency. Possibly, these impairments contribute to first-person large-scale egocentric learning deficits. Sixteen inpatients with schizophrenia and 16 matched healthy comparison subjects underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while finding their way in a virtual maze. The virtual maze presented a first-person view, lacked any topographical landmarks and afforded egocentric navigation strategies. The participants with schizophrenia showed impaired performance in the virtual maze when compared with controls, and showed a similar but weaker pattern of activity changes during egocentric learning when compared with controls. Especially the activity of task-relevant brain regions (precuneus and posterior cingulate and retrosplenial cortex) differed from that of controls across all trials of the task. Activity increase within the right-sided precuneus was related to worse virtual maze performance and to stronger positive symptoms in participants with schizophrenia. We suggest that psychotic symptoms in schizophrenia are related to aberrant neural activity within the precuneus. Possibly, first-person large-scale egocentric navigation and learning designs may be a feasible tool for the assessment and treatment of cognitive deficits related to self-recognition in patients with schizophrenia.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Clinical and Social Psychiatry Zurich West (former)
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2012
Deposited On:13 Feb 2013 08:18
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 16:24
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:1053-8119
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nicl.2012.10.004

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