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Modeling subjective relevance in schizophrenia and its relation to aberrant salience


Katthagen, Teresa; Mathys, Christoph; Deserno, Lorenz; Walter, Henrik; Kathmann, Norbert; Heinz, Andreas; Schlagenhauf, Florian (2018). Modeling subjective relevance in schizophrenia and its relation to aberrant salience. PLoS Computational Biology, 14(8):e1006319.

Abstract

In schizophrenia, increased aberrant salience to irrelevant events and reduced learning of relevant information may relate to an underlying deficit in relevance detection. So far, subjective estimates of relevance have not been probed in schizophrenia patients. The mechanisms underlying belief formation about relevance and their translation into decisions are unclear. Using novel computational methods, we investigated relevance detection during implicit learning in 42 schizophrenia patients and 42 healthy individuals. Participants underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging while detecting the outcomes in a learning task. These were preceded by cues differing in color and shape, which were either relevant or irrelevant for outcome prediction. We provided a novel definition of relevance based on Bayesian precision and modeled reaction times as a function of relevance weighted unsigned prediction errors (UPE). For aberrant salience, we assessed responses to subjectively irrelevant cue manifestations. Participants learned the contingencies and slowed down their responses following unexpected events. Model selection revealed that individuals inferred the relevance of cue features and used it for behavioral adaption to the relevant cue feature. Relevance weighted UPEs correlated with dorsal anterior cingulate cortex activation and hippocampus deactivation. In patients, the aberrant salience bias to subjectively task-irrelevant information was increased and correlated with decreased striatal UPE activation and increased negative symptoms. This study shows that relevance estimates based on Bayesian precision can be inferred from observed behavior. This underscores the importance of relevance detection as an underlying mechanism for behavioral adaptation in complex environments and enhances the understanding of aberrant salience in schizophrenia.

Abstract

In schizophrenia, increased aberrant salience to irrelevant events and reduced learning of relevant information may relate to an underlying deficit in relevance detection. So far, subjective estimates of relevance have not been probed in schizophrenia patients. The mechanisms underlying belief formation about relevance and their translation into decisions are unclear. Using novel computational methods, we investigated relevance detection during implicit learning in 42 schizophrenia patients and 42 healthy individuals. Participants underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging while detecting the outcomes in a learning task. These were preceded by cues differing in color and shape, which were either relevant or irrelevant for outcome prediction. We provided a novel definition of relevance based on Bayesian precision and modeled reaction times as a function of relevance weighted unsigned prediction errors (UPE). For aberrant salience, we assessed responses to subjectively irrelevant cue manifestations. Participants learned the contingencies and slowed down their responses following unexpected events. Model selection revealed that individuals inferred the relevance of cue features and used it for behavioral adaption to the relevant cue feature. Relevance weighted UPEs correlated with dorsal anterior cingulate cortex activation and hippocampus deactivation. In patients, the aberrant salience bias to subjectively task-irrelevant information was increased and correlated with decreased striatal UPE activation and increased negative symptoms. This study shows that relevance estimates based on Bayesian precision can be inferred from observed behavior. This underscores the importance of relevance detection as an underlying mechanism for behavioral adaptation in complex environments and enhances the understanding of aberrant salience in schizophrenia.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Biomedical Engineering
Dewey Decimal Classification:170 Ethics
610 Medicine & health
Uncontrolled Keywords:Ecology, Modelling and Simulation, Computational Theory and Mathematics, Genetics, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics, Molecular Biology, Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
Language:English
Date:10 August 2018
Deposited On:29 Nov 2018 11:14
Last Modified:01 Dec 2018 01:18
Publisher:Public Library of Science (PLoS)
ISSN:1553-734X
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1006319
PubMed ID:30096179

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