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Neural correlates of syntax production in schizophrenia

  • Tilo T. J. Kircher (a1), Tomasina M. Oh (a2), Michael J. Brammer (a3) and Philip K. McGuire (a3)

Abstract

Background

The production of grammatically complex sentences is impaired in schizophrenia. It has been suggested that impaired syntax processing reflects a risk for the disorder.

Aims

To examine the neural correlates of syntax production in people with schizophrenia using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

Method

Six patients with schizophrenia and six healthy volunteers spoke about seven Rorschach inkblots for 3 min each while correlates of brain activation were measured with fMRI. Participants produced varying amounts of syntactically simple and complex sentences during each 3 min run. The number of simple and complex sentences was correlated separately with the BOLD contrast.

Results

In the comparison between the control group and the patient group, the number of complex sentences produced was correlated with activation in the posterior portion of the right middle temporal (Brodmann area 21) and left superior frontal (BA 10) gyri in the control group but not in the patients.

Conclusions

The absence of activation in the right posterior temporal and left superior frontal cortex in patients with schizophrenia might contribute to the articulation of grammatically more simple speech in people with this disorder.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

Dr T. Kircher, Department of Psychiatry, University of Aachen, Pauwelstrasse 30, D-52076 Aachen, Germany. Tel: +49 (0)241 808 9640; fax: +49 (0)241 808 2401; e-mail: tkircher@ukaachen.de

Footnotes

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Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes

References

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Neural correlates of syntax production in schizophrenia

  • Tilo T. J. Kircher (a1), Tomasina M. Oh (a2), Michael J. Brammer (a3) and Philip K. McGuire (a3)

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Neural correlates of syntax production in schizophrenia

  • Tilo T. J. Kircher (a1), Tomasina M. Oh (a2), Michael J. Brammer (a3) and Philip K. McGuire (a3)
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