Emotional deficits are among the core features of schizophrenia and both associative emotional learning and the related ability to verbalize emotions can be reduced. We investigated whether schizophrenia patients demonstrated impaired function of limbic and prefrontal areas during associative emotional learning. Patients and controls filled out an alexithymia questionnaire and performed an associative emotional learning task with positive, negative and neutral picture-word pairs during fMRI scanning. After scanning, they indicated for each pair whether they remembered it We conducted standard GLM analysis and Independent Component Analysis (ICA). Both the GLM results and task-related ICA components were compared between groups. The alexithymia questionnaire indicated more cognitive-emotional processing difficulties in patients than controls, but equal experienced intensity of affective states. Patients remembered less picture-word pairs, irrespective of valence. GLM analysis showed significant visual, temporal, amygdalar/hippocampal, and prefrontal activation in all subjects. ICA identified a network of brain areas similar to GLM, mainly in response to negative stimuli. Neither analysis showed differences between patients and controls during learning. Although in previous studies schizophrenia patients showed abnormalities in both memory and emotion processing, neural circuits involved in cross-modal associative emotional learning may remain intact to a certain degree, which may have potential consequences for treatment. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
- INDEPENDENT COMPONENT ANALYSIS
- VORST ALEXITHYMIA QUESTIONNAIRE
- COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE
- NEURAL BASIS