Disrupted theory of mind network processing in response to idea of reference evocation in schizophrenia
- Alternative Author(s)
- Ku, Jeong Hun
- Publication Year
- Objective: This study examined the neural pathophysiology of the
theory of mind network by eliciting self-referential processing during
an idea of reference evocating situation in patients with schizophrenia.
Method: Functional MRI was conducted on 14 schizophrenic
in-patients with the idea of reference and 15 healthy participants while
viewing video vignettes of referential conversations, non-referential
conversations or no conversations between two people, which were
filmed at varying distances of 1, 5 or 10 m.
Results: The patient group did not show normal patterns of superior
temporal sulcus activation to conversational context, and reciprocal
deactivation and activation of the ventromedial and dorsomedial
prefrontal cortex to referential conversational context. Instead, the
patient group showed overall greater ventromedial prefrontal activities
across different conversational contexts and inverse correlation between
superior temporal sulcus activity and delusional severity. Differential
activations of the temporal pole and its posterior extension to varying
distances were observed in the control group but not in the patient group.
Conclusion: The present study demonstrates that theory of mindrelated
responses of the medial prefrontal-superior temporal network
are attenuated during the self-referential processing in patients with
schizophrenia and that these abnormalities may be related to the
formation of their referential or persecutory delusion.
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