Neural correlates of semantic associations in patients with schizophrenia

Sass, Katharina, Heim, Stefan, Sachs, Olga, Straube, Benjamin, Schneider, Frank, Habel, Ute and Kircher, Tilo (2014) Neural correlates of semantic associations in patients with schizophrenia. European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience, 264 2: 143-154. doi:10.1007/s00406-013-0425-0

Author Sass, Katharina
Heim, Stefan
Sachs, Olga
Straube, Benjamin
Schneider, Frank
Habel, Ute
Kircher, Tilo
Title Neural correlates of semantic associations in patients with schizophrenia
Journal name European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0940-1334
Publication date 2014-03-01
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s00406-013-0425-0
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 264
Issue 2
Start page 143
End page 154
Total pages 12
Place of publication Heidelberg, Germany
Publisher Springer Medizin
Language eng
Abstract Patients with schizophrenia have semantic processing disturbances leading to expressive language deficits (formal thought disorder). The underlying pathology has been related to alterations in the semantic network and its neural correlates. Moreover, crossmodal processing, an important aspect of communication, is impaired in schizophrenia. Here we investigated specific processing abnormalities in patients with schizophrenia with regard to modality and semantic distance in a semantic priming paradigm. Fourteen patients with schizophrenia and fourteen demographically matched controls made visual lexical decisions on successively presented word-pairs (SOA = 350 ms) with direct or indirect relations, unrelated word-pairs, and pseudoword-target stimuli during fMRI measurement. Stimuli were presented in a unimodal (visual) or crossmodal (auditory-visual) fashion. On the neural level, the effect of semantic relation indicated differences (patients > controls) within the right angular gyrus and precuneus. The effect of modality revealed differences (controls > patients) within the left superior frontal, middle temporal, inferior occipital, right angular gyri, and anterior cingulate cortex. Semantic distance (direct vs. indirect) induced distinct activations within the left middle temporal, fusiform gyrus, right precuneus, and thalamus with patients showing fewer differences between direct and indirect word-pairs. The results highlight aberrant priming-related brain responses in patients with schizophrenia. Enhanced activation for patients possibly reflects deficits in semantic processes that might be caused by a delayed and enhanced spread of activation within the semantic network. Modality-specific decreases of activation in patients might be related to impaired perceptual integration. Those deficits could induce and increase the prominent symptoms of schizophrenia like impaired speech processing.
Keyword Automatic semantic processing
Crossmodal presentation
Formal thought disorder
Indirect priming
Semantic priming
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Psychology Publications
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