Schizophrenia and Possible Social-Emotional Brain Processing Deficits

February 18, 2012 at 3:44 am | Posted in amygdala, fMRI, inferior parietal lobule, Kristin Bell, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Psych Meds, Psychiatrist, Psychiatry, Psychiatry Denial, Psychology, Psychosis, Research, Schizophrenia, Social-Emotion Processing | 2 Comments

As reported in Schizophrenia Research, vol. 134 (2012) 118-124, Prerona Mukherjee et. al. presented their study that showed lower connection activity levels from the amygdala to the rest of the brain, specifically, to the inferior parietal lobule, for people with schizophrenia as compared to controls. The study involved 19 participants diagnosed according to the DSM-IV with schizophrenia and 24 controls matched for demographics like educational level, region, and age.

The study involved pre-assessment of symptoms and scanning the participants with an fMRI machine while they were shown fearful, neutral and baseline faces. Data was collected and analyzed showing that the participants with schizophrenia displayed reduced connectivity when shown fearful faces. The regions that were implicated involve social-emotional processing that is vital to social interactions.

The study supports the view that there may be a “functional disconnection” in brain regions that support and interpret social cues and emotion processing information for people with schizophrenia. This information also mirrors the symptoms that many patients with schizophrenia present with such as paranoia, flattened affect and lack of correct social cue processing.

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