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Neural Substrates of Auditory Emotion Recognition Deficits in Schizophrenia
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2015 (English)In: Journal of Neuroscience, ISSN 0270-6474, E-ISSN 1529-2401, Vol. 35, no 44, 14909-14921 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Deficits in auditory emotion recognition (AER) are a core feature of schizophrenia and a key component of social cognitive impairment. AER deficits are tied behaviorally to impaired ability to interpret tonal (“prosodic”) features of speech that normally convey emotion, such as modulations in base pitch (F0M) and pitch variability (F0SD). These modulations can be recreated using synthetic frequency modulated (FM) tones that mimic the prosodic contours of specific emotional stimuli. The present study investigates neural mechanisms underlying impaired AER using a combined event-related potential/resting-state functional connectivity (rsfMRI) approach in 84 schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorder patients and 66 healthy comparison subjects. Mismatch negativity (MMN) to FM tones was assessed in 43 patients/36 controls. rsfMRI between auditory cortex and medial temporal (insula) regions was assessed in 55 patients/51 controls. The relationship between AER, MMN to FM tones, and rsfMRI was assessed in the subset who performed all assessments (14 patients, 21 controls). As predicted, patients showed robust reductions in MMN across FM stimulus type (p = 0.005), particularly to modulations in F0M, along with impairments in AER and FM tone discrimination. MMN source analysis indicated dipoles in both auditory cortex and anterior insula, whereas rsfMRI analyses showed reduced auditory-insula connectivity. MMN to FM tones and functional connectivity together accounted for ∼50% of the variance in AER performance across individuals. These findings demonstrate that impaired preattentive processing of tonal information and reduced auditory-insula connectivity are critical determinants of social cognitive dysfunction in schizophrenia, and thus represent key targets for future research and clinical intervention.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 35, no 44, 14909-14921 p.
Keyword [en]
affective prosody, ERP, mismatch negativity, resting-state MRI, schizophrenia, social cognition
National Category
Psychology Neurosciences
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-123216DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4603-14.2015ISI: 000366053900020OAI: diva2:872272
Available from: 2015-11-18 Created: 2015-11-18 Last updated: 2016-01-04Bibliographically approved

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Laukka, Petri
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Department of Psychology
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