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The when and where of working memory dysfunction in early-onset schizophrenia - a functional magnetic resonance imaging study

Bittner, R. A., Linden, David Edmund Johannes ORCID:, Roebroeck, A., Hartling, F., Rotarska-Jagiela, A., Maurer, K., Goebel, R., Singer, W. and Haenschel, C. 2015. The when and where of working memory dysfunction in early-onset schizophrenia - a functional magnetic resonance imaging study. Cerebral Cortex 25 (9) , pp. 2494-2506. 10.1093/cercor/bhu050

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Behavioral evidence indicates that working memory (WM) in schizophrenia is already impaired at the encoding stage. However, the neurophysiological basis of this primary deficit remains poorly understood. Using event-related fMRI, we assessed differences in brain activation and functional connectivity during the encoding, maintenance and retrieval stages of a visual WM task with 3 levels of memory load in 17 adolescents with early-onset schizophrenia (EOS) and 17 matched controls. The amount of information patients could store in WM was reduced at all memory load levels. During encoding, activation in left ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) and extrastriate visual cortex, which in controls positively correlated with the amount of stored information, was reduced in patients. Additionally, patients showed disturbed functional connectivity between prefrontal and visual areas. During retrieval, right inferior VLPFC hyperactivation was correlated with hypoactivation of left VLPFC in patients during encoding. Visual WM encoding is disturbed by a failure to adequately engage a visual-prefrontal network critical for the transfer of perceptual information into WM. Prefrontal hyperactivation appears to be a secondary consequence of this primary deficit. Isolating the component processes of WM can lead to more specific neurophysiological markers for translational efforts seeking to improve the treatment of cognitive dysfunction in schizophrenia.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute (NMHRI)
MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (CNGG)
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Publisher: Oxford University Press (OUP): Policy B - Oxford Open Option B
ISSN: 1047-3211
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2022 09:34

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