Skip to main content Accessibility help
  • Print publication year: 2009
  • Online publication date: December 2009

12 - Language lateralization in patients with formal thought disorder

from Section 2 - Language lateralization and psychosis


Modern theories of genetic influence on lateralization suggest that random or fluctuating asymmetry has an important role. Theories of directional asymmetry or chance can be distinguished from the right shift (RS) theory that accidental asymmetries are universal for bilaterally symmetrical organisms. The right shift (RS) theory developed through a series of stages of empirical research and theoretical analysis. Briefly, the theory suggests that degrees of hand preference map onto a non-genetic normal distribution of asymmetry for hand skill, a continuum of right minus left (R - L) skill. The RS model explains relations between handedness and cerebral speech laterality. The key argument, for most skeptics of genetic influence on handedness, is the discordance of monozygotic (MZ) pairs. An early attempt to study the inheritance of brain asymmetries used a dichotic listening test in 49 families.


Adams, J., Faux, S., McCarley, R. W., Marcy, B. & Shenton, M. (1989). The N400 and language processing in schizophrenia. Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference on Event Related Potentials of the Brain (EPIC IX Congress). Noordwijk, the Netherlands, pp. 12–13.
Andrews, S., Shelley, A. M., Ward, P. B. et al. (1993). Event-related potential indices of semantic processing in schizophrenia. Biol Psychiatry, 34, 443–58.
Baker, N., Adler, L. E., Franks, R. D. et al. (1987). Neurophysiological assessment of sensory gating in psychiatric inpatients: comparison between schizophrenia and other diagnoses. Biol Psychiatry, 22, 603–17.
Barrera, A., McKenna, P. J. & Berrios, G. E. (2005). Formal thought disorder in schizophrenia: an executive or a semantic deficit? Psychol Med, 35, 121–32.
Beeman, M., Friedman, R. B., Grafman, J. et al. (1994). Summation priming and coarse semantic coding in the right hemisphere. J Cogn Neurosci, 6, 26–45.
Bullen, J. G. & Hemsley, D. R. (1987). Schizophrenia: a failure to control the contents of consciousness? Br J Clin Psychol, 26, 25–33.
Cohen, J. D. & Servan-Schreiber, D. (1992). Context, cortex and dopamine: a connectionist approach to behavior and biology in schizophrenia. Psychol Rev, 99, 45–77.
Craven, R. (2002). Lateral thinking. Nature Rev Neurosci, 3, 414.
DeLisi, L. E., Hoff, A. L., Neale, C. & Kushner, M. (1994). Asymmetries in the superior temporal lobe in male and female first-episode schizophrenic patients: measures of the planum temporale and superior temporal gyrus by MRI. Schizophr Res, 12, 19–28.
Ditman, T. & Kuperberg, G. (2007). The time course of building discourse coherence in schizophrenia: an ERP investigation. Psychophysiology, 44(6), 991–1001.
Friston, K. J., Liddle, P. F., Frith, C. D., Hirsch, S. R. & Frackowiak, R. S. J. (1992). The left medial temporal region and schizophrenia. Brain, 115, 367–82.
Frith, C. D. (1979). Consciousness, information processing and schizophrenia. Br J Psychiatry, 134, 225–35.
Frodl, T., Meisenzahl, E. M., Muller, D. et al. (2002). P300 subcomponents and clinical symptoms in schizophrenia. Int J Psychophysiol, 43, 237–46.
Goldberg, T. E., Aloia, M. S., Gourovitch, M. L. et al. (1998). Cognitive substrates of thought disorder, I: the semantic system. Am J Psychiatry, 155(12), 1671–6.
Goldberg, T. E. & Weinberger, D. R. (2000). Thought disorder in schizophrenia: a reappraisal of older formulations and an overview of some recent studies. Cogn Neuropsychiatry, 5, 1–19.
Han, S. D., Nestor, P. G., Hale-Spencer, M. et al. (2007). Functional neuroimaging of word priming in males with chronic schizophrenia. Neuroimage, 35, 273–82.
Higashima, M., Nagasawa, T., Kawasaki, Y. et al. (2003). Auditory P300 amplitude as a state marker for positive symptoms in schizophrenia: cross-sectional and retrospective longitudinal studies. Schizophr Res, 59, 147–57.
Higashima, M., Urata, K., Kawasaki, Y. et al. (1998). P300 and the thought disorder factor extracted by factor-analytic procedures in schizophrenia. Biol Psychiatry, 44, 115–20.
Iwanami, A., Okajima, Y., Kuwakado, D. et al. (2000). Event-related potentials and thought disorder in schizophrenia. Schizophr Res, 42, 187–91.
Kaplan, R. D., Szechtman, H., Franco, S. et al. (1993). Three clinical syndromes of schizophrenia in untreated subjects: relation to brain glucose activity measured by positron emission tomography (PET). Schizophr Res, 11, 47–54.
Kasai, K., Iwanami, A., Yamasue, H. et al. (2002). Neuroanatomy and neurophysiology in schizophrenia. Neurosci Res, 43, 93–110.
Kawasaki, Y., Maeda, Y., Sakai, N. et al. (1996). Regional cerebral blood flow in patients with schizophrenia: relevance of symptom structures. Neuroimaging, 67, 49–58.
Kerns, J. G. & Berenbaum, H. (2002). Cognitive impairments associated with formal thought disorder in people with schizophrenia. J Abnor Psychol, 111, 211–34.
Kircher, T. T., Bulimore, E. T., Brammer, M. J. et al. (2001a). Differential activation of the temporal cortex during sentence completion in schizophrenic patients with and without formal thought disorder. Schizophr Res, 50, 27–40.
Kircher, T. T., Leube, D. T., Erb, M., Grodd, W. & Rapp, A. M. (2007). Neural correlates of metaphor processing in schizophrenia. Neuroimage, 34, 281–9.
Kircher, T. T., Liddle, P. F., Brammer, M. J. et al. (2001b). Neural correlates of formal thought disorder in schizophrenia. Arch Gen Psychiatry, 58, 769–74.
Kircher, T. T., Liddle, P. F., Brammer, M. J. et al. (2002). Reversed lateralization of temporal activation during speech production in thought disordered patients with schizophrenia. Psychol Med, 32, 439–49.
Kircher, T. T., Oh, T. M., Brammer, M. J. & McGuire, P. K. (2005). Neural correlates of syntax production in schizophrenia. Br J Psychiatry, 186, 209–14.
Kircher, T. T., Rapp, A., Grodd, W. et al. (2004). Mismatch responses in schizophrenia: a combined fMRI and whole-head MEG study. Am J Psychiatry, 161, 294–304.
Kircher, T. T., Whitney, C., Krings, T., Huber, W. & Weis, S. (2008). Hippocampal dysfunction during free word association in male patients with schizophrenia. Schizophr Res, 101(1–3), 242–55.
Kirihara, K., Araki, T., Kasai, K. et al. (2005). Confirmation of a relationship between reduced auditory P300 amplitude and thought disorder in schizophrenia. Schizophr Res, 80, 197–201.
Kostova, M., Passerieux, C., Laurent, J. P. & Hardy-Bayle, M. C. (2005). N400 anomalies in schizophrenia are correlated with the severity of formal thought disorder. Schizophr Res, 78, 285–91.
Kumar, N. & Debruille, J. B. (2004). Semantics and N400: insights for schizophrenia. J Psychiatry Neurosci, 29, 89–98.
Kuperberg, G. R. & Caplan, D. (2003). Language dysfunction in schizophrenia. In: R. B. Schiffers, S. M. Rao & B. S. Fogel (eds.) Neuropsychiatry, 2nd edn Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, pp. 444–66.
Kuperberg, G. R., Deckersbach, T., Holt, D., Goff, D. & West, W. C. (2007). Increased temporal and prefrontal activity to semantic associations in schizophrenia. Arch Gen Psychiatry, 64, 138–51.
Kuperberg, G., McGuire, P. K. & David, A. S. (2000). Sensitivity to linguistic anomalies in spoken sentences: a case study approach to understanding thought disorder in schizophrenia. Psychol Med, 30, 345–57.
Kutas, M. & Hillyard, S. A. (1980). Event-related brain potentials to semantically inappropriate and surprisingly large words. Biol Psychol, 11, 99–116.
Landre, N. A. & Taylor, M. A. (1995). Formal thought disorder in schizophrenia. Linguistic, attentional, and intellectual correlates. J Nerv Ment Dis, 183, 673–80.
Leeson, V. C., Simpson, A., McKenna, P. J. & Laws, K. R. (2005). Executive inhibition and semantic association in schizophrenia. Schizophr Res, 74, 61–7.
Liddle, P. F., Friston, K. J., Frith, C. D. et al. (1992). Patterns of cerebral blood flow in schizophrenia. Br J Psychiatry, 160, 179–86.
Liddle, P. F., Ngan, E. T. C., Caissie, S. L. et al. (2002). Thought and Language Index: an instrument for assessing thought and language in schizophrenia. Br J Psychiatry, 181, 326–30.
Manschreck, T. C., Maher, B. A., Milavetz, J. J. et al. (1988). Semantic priming in thought disordered schizophrenic patients. Schizophr Res, 1, 61–6.
Mathiak, K. & Fallgatter, A. J. (2006). Combining magnetoencephalography and functional magnetic resonance imaging. Int Rev Neurobiol, 68, 121–48.
McCarley, R. W., Salisbury, D. F., Hirayasu, Y. et al. (2002). Association between smaller left posterior superior temporal gyrus volume on magnetic resonance imaging and smaller left temporal P300 amplitude in first-episode schizophrenia. Arch Gen Psychiatry, 59, 321–31.
McCarley, R. W., Shenton, M. E., O’Donnell, B. F. et al. (1993). Auditory P300 abnormalities and left posterior superior temporal gyrus reduction in schizophrenia. Arch Gen Psychiatry, 50, 190–7.
McGuire, P. K., Quested, D. J., Spence, S. A. et al. (1998). Pathophysiology of “positive” thought disorder in schizophrenia. Br J Psychiatry, 173, 231–5.
Meisenzahl, E. M., Frodl, T., Muller, D. et al. (2004). Superior temporal gyrus and P300 in schizophrenia: a combined ERP/ structural magnetic resonance imaging investigation. J Psychiatr Res, 38, 153–62.
Menon, R. R., Barta, P. E., Aylward, E. H. et al. (1995). Posterior superior temporal gyrus in schizophrenia: grey matter changes and clinical correlates. Schizophr Res, 16, 127–35.
Minzenberg, M. J., Ober, B. A. & Vinogradov, S. (2002). Semantic priming in schizophrenia: a review and synthesis. J Int Neuropsy Soc, 8, 699–720.
Mitchell, R. L. C. & Crow, T. J. (2005). Right hemisphere language functions and schizophrenia: the forgotten hemisphere? Brain, 128, 963–78.
Ngan, E. T. C., Vouloumanos, A., Cairo, T. A. et al. (2003). Abnormal processing of speech during oddball target detection in schizophrenia. Neuroimage, 20, 889–97.
Ohnishi, T., Hashimoto, R., Mori, T. et al. (2006). The association between the Val158Met polymorphism of the catechol-0-methyl transferase gene and morphological abnormalities of the brain in chronic schizophrenia. Brain, 129, 399–410.
Pearlson, G. D. & Marsh, L. (1999). Structural brain imaging in schizophrenia: a selective review. Biol Psychiatry, 46, 627–49.
Potter, D., Summerfelt, A., Gold, J. & Buchanan, R. W. (2006). Review of clinical correlates of P50 sensory gating abnormalities in patients with schizophrenia. Schizophr Bull, 32, 692–700.
Rajarethinam, R., DeQuardo, J. R., Miedler, J. et al. (2001). Hippocampus and amygdala in schizophrenia: assessment of the relationship of neuroanatomy to psychopathology. Psychiatry Res, 108, 79–87.
Rossi, A., Serio, A., Stratta, P. et al. (1994). Planum temporale asymmetry and thought disorder in schizophrenia. Schizophr Res, 12, 1–7.
Salisbury, D. F., O’Donnell, B. F., McCarley, R. W., Nestor, P. G. & Shenton, M. E. (2000). Event-related potentials elicited during a context-free homograph task in normal versus schizophrenic subjects. Psychophysiology, 37, 456–63.
Shapleske, J., Rossell, S. L., Woodruff, P. W. & David, A. S. (1999). The planum temporale: a systematic, quantitative review of its structural, functional and clinical significance. Brain Res Brain Res Rev, 29, 26–49.
Shenton, M. E., Dickey, C. C., Frumin, M. & McCarley, R. W. (2001). A review of MRI findings in schizophrenia. Schizophr Res, 49, 1–52.
Shenton, M. E., Kikinis, R., Jolesz, F. A. et al. (1992). Abnormalities of the left temporal lobe and thought disorder in schizophrenia. A quantitative magnetic resonance imaging study. N Engl J Med, 327, 604–12.
Shenton, M. E., O’Donnell, B. F., Nestor, P. G. et al. (1993). Temporal lobe abnormalities in a patient with schizophrenia who has word-finding difficulty: use of high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging and auditory P300 event-related potentials. Harvard Rev Psychiatry, 1, 110–17.
Spencer, M. D., Moorhead, T. W. J., McIntosh, A. M. et al. (2007). Grey matter correlates of early psychotic symptoms in adolescents at enhanced risk of psychosis: a voxel-based study. Neuroimage, 35, 1181–91.
Spitzer, M., Braun, U., Hermle, L. & Maier, S. (1993). Associative semantic network dysfunction in thought-disordered schizophrenic patients: direct evidence from indirect semantic priming. Biol Psychiatry, 34, 864–77.
Stirling, J., Hellewell, J., Blakey, A. & Deakin, W. (2006). Thought disorder in schizophrenia is associated with both executive dysfunction and circumscribed impairments in semantic function. Psychol Med, 36, 475–84.
Subotnik, K. L., Bartzokis, G., Green, M. F. & Nuechterlein, K. H. (2003). Neuroanatomical correlates of formal thought disorder in schizophrenia. Cogn Neuropsychiatry, 8, 81–8.
Titone, D., Levy, D. L. & Holzman, P. S. (2000). Contextual insensitivity in schizophrenic language processing: evidence from lexical ambiguity. J Abnorm Psychol, 109, 761–7.
Vita, A., Dieci, M., Giobbio, G. M. et al. (1995). Language and thought disorder in schizophrenia: brain morphological correlates. Schizophr Res, 15, 243–51.
Weinstein, S., Werker, J. F., Vouloumanos, A., Woodward, T. S. & Ngan, E. T. (2006). Do you hear what I hear? Neural correlates of thought disorder during listening to speech in schizophrenia. Schizophr Res, 86, 130–7.
Weinstein, S., Woodward, T. S. & Ngan, E. T. C. (2007). Brain activation mediates the association between structural abnormality and symptom severity in schizophrenia. Neuroimage, 36, 188–93.
Weisbrod, M., Maier, S., Harig, S., Himmelsbach, U. & Spitzer, M. (1998). Lateralised semantic and indirect semantic priming effects in people with schizophrenia. Br J Psychiatry, 172, 142–6.
Youn, T., Park, H.-J., Kim, J.-J., Kim, M. S. & Kwon, J. S. (2002). Altered hemispheric asymmetry and positive symptoms in schizophrenia: equivalent current dipole of auditory mismatch negativity. Schizophr Res, 59, 253–60.