Hippocampal temporal-parietal junction interaction in the production of psychotic symptoms: a framework for understanding the schizophrenic syndrome
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CitationWible, Cynthia G. 2012. Hippocampal temporal-parietal junction interaction in the production of psychotic symptoms: a framework for understanding the schizophrenic syndrome. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 6:180.
AbstractA framework is described for understanding the schizophrenic syndrome at the brain systems level. It is hypothesized that over-activation of dynamic gesture and social perceptual processes in the temporal-parietal occipital junction (TPJ), posterior superior temporal sulcus (PSTS) and surrounding regions produce the syndrome (including positive and negative symptoms, their prevalence, prodromal signs, and cognitive deficits). Hippocampal system hyper-activity and atrophy have been consistently found in schizophrenia. Hippocampal activity is highly correlated with activity in the TPJ and may be a source of over-excitation of the TPJ and surrounding regions. Strong evidence for this comes from in-vivo recordings in humans during psychotic episodes. Many positive symptoms of schizophrenia can be reframed as the erroneous sense of a presence or other who is observing, acting, speaking, or controlling; these qualia are similar to those evoked during abnormal activation of the TPJ. The TPJ and PSTS play a key role in the perception (and production) of dynamic social, emotional, and attentional gestures for the self and others (e.g., body/face/eye gestures, audiovisual speech and prosody, and social attentional gestures such as eye gaze). The single cell representation of dynamic gestures is multimodal (auditory, visual, tactile), matching the predominant hallucinatory categories in schizophrenia. Inherent in the single cell perceptual signal of dynamic gesture representations is a computation of intention, agency, and anticipation or expectancy (for the self and others). Stimulation of the TPJ resulting in activation of the self representation has been shown to result a feeling of a presence or multiple presences (due to heautoscopy) and also bizarre tactile experiences. Neurons in the TPJ are also tuned, or biased to detect threat related emotions. Abnormal over-activation in this system could produce the conscious hallucination of a voice (audiovisual speech), a person or a touch. Over-activation could interfere with attentional/emotional gesture perception and production (negative symptoms). It could produce the unconscious feeling of being watched, followed, or of a social situation unfolding along with accompanying abnormal perception of intent and agency (delusions). Abnormal activity in the TPJ would also be predicted to create several cognitive disturbances that are characteristic of schizophrenia, including abnormalities in attention, predictive social processing, working memory, and a bias to erroneously perceive threat.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:10436274
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