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FI
5.938
2023 Psychological Medicine
Do the negative symptoms of schizophrenia reflect reduced responsiveness to reward? Examination using a reward prediction error (RPE) task.
Fuentes-Claramonte P, Garcia-Leon MA, Salgado-Pineda P, Ramiro N, Soler-Vidal J, Torres ML, Cano R, Argila-Plaza I, Panicali F, Sarri C, Jaurrieta N, Sánchez M, Boix-Quintana E, Albacete A, Maristany T, Sarró S, Raduà J, McKenna PJ, Salvador R, Pomarol-Clotet E

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Abstract

A leading theory of the negative symptoms of schizophrenia is that they reflect reduced responsiveness to rewarding stimuli. This proposal has been linked to abnormal (reduced) dopamine function in the disorder, because phasic release of dopamine is known to code for reward prediction error (RPE). Nevertheless, few functional imaging studies have examined if patients with negative symptoms show reduced RPE-associated activations.Matched groups of DSM-5 schizophrenia patients with high negative symptom scores (HNS, = 27) or absent negative symptoms (ANS, = 27) and healthy controls (HC, = 30) underwent fMRI scanning while they performed a probabilistic monetary reward task designed to generate a measure of RPE.In the HC, whole-brain analysis revealed that RPE was positively associated with activation in the ventral striatum, the putamen, and areas of the lateral prefrontal cortex and orbitofrontal cortex, among other regions. Group comparison revealed no activation differences between the healthy controls and the ANS patients. However, compared to the ANS patients, the HNS patients showed regions of significantly reduced activation in the left ventrolateral and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, and in the right lingual and fusiform gyrus. HNS and ANS patients showed no activation differences in ventral striatal or midbrain regions-of-interest (ROIs), but the HNS patients showed reduced activation in a left orbitofrontal cortex ROI.The findings do not suggest that a generalized reduction of RPE signalling underlies negative symptoms. Instead, they point to a more circumscribed dysfunction in the lateral frontal and possibly the orbitofrontal cortex.
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