Functional connectivity patterns underlying the experience of auditory verbal hallucinations in patients with schizophrenia

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Pravesh ParekhBindu M. Kutty

Abstract

Schizophrenia is characterized by functional connectivity aberrations between brain regions that mediate different cognitive processes. The characteristic symptoms of schizophrenia such as delusions, hallucinations, passivity experiences etc. are suggested to reflect a disordered self-awareness. In the present study, we used a novel fMRI paradigm, the "Hallucination Attentional Modulation Task (HAMT)", to examine the functional connectivity patterns underlying the experience of auditory verbal hallucinations in contrast to the patterns associated with processing of visual stimuli. We found that there was substantial overlap amongst healthy (n=8) and schizophrenia (n=6) subjects with respect to the functional connectivity patterns during the 'free attention' and 'visual attention' conditions of the paradigm. In patients with schizophrenia having continuous auditory verbal hallucinations, the connectivity between the bilateral superior parietal lobules and bilateral thalami were stronger during the 'hallucination attention' condition. These results provide preliminary leads that link auditory verbal hallucinations to an underlying disorder of self-agency.

Related Concepts

Study
Patterns
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Schizophrenia
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