Failure to mobilize cognitive control for challenging tasks correlates with symptom severity in schizophrenia
Karahanoğlu, F. Işık
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CitationBaran, Bengi, F. Işık Karahanoğlu, Yigal Agam, Leonidas Mantonakis, and Dara S. Manoach. 2016. “Failure to mobilize cognitive control for challenging tasks correlates with symptom severity in schizophrenia.” NeuroImage : Clinical 12 (1): 887-893. doi:10.1016/j.nicl.2016.10.020. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nicl.2016.10.020.
AbstractDeficits in the adaptive, flexible control of behavior contribute to the clinical manifestations of schizophrenia. We used functional MRI and an antisaccade paradigm to examine the neural correlates of cognitive control deficits and their relations to symptom severity. Thirty-three chronic medicated outpatients with schizophrenia and 31 healthy controls performed an antisaccade paradigm. We examined differences in recruitment of the cognitive control network and task performance for Hard (high control) versus Easy (low control) antisaccade trials within and between groups. We focused on the key regions involved in ‘top-down’ control of ocular motor structures – dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, dorsolateral and ventrolateral prefrontal cortex. In patients, we examined whether difficulty implementing cognitive control correlated with symptom severity. Patients made more errors overall, and had shorter saccadic latencies than controls on correct Hard vs. Easy trials. Unlike controls, patients failed to increase activation in the cognitive control network for Hard vs. Easy trials. Reduced activation for Hard vs. Easy trials predicted higher error rates in both groups and increased symptom severity in schizophrenia. These findings suggest that patients with schizophrenia are impaired in mobilizing cognitive control when presented with challenges and that this contributes to deficits suppressing prepotent but contextually inappropriate responses, to behavior that is stimulus-bound and error-prone rather than flexibly guided by context, and to symptom expression. Therapies aimed at increasing cognitive control may improve both cognitive flexibility and reduce the impact of symptoms.
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