A1 Journal article – refereed
Schizotypy and mentalizing: An fMRI study

List of Authors: Acosta H., Straube B., Kircher T.
Publisher: Elsevier Ltd
Publication year: 2019
Journal: Neuropsychologia
Journal name in source: Neuropsychologia
Volume number: 124


Introduction: Schizotypy is a personality trait characterized by subclinical schizophrenia symptoms. Individuals with schizophrenia typically display behavioral mentalizing deficits and altered neural correlates during mentalizing. While schizotypy has been inconsistently related to behavioral mentalizing skills, its neural correlates of mentalizing are understudied so far. With this study we tested the association between schizotypy traits in healthy subjects and mentalizing-related neural correlates to provide new insights into neural processes associated with subclinical schizophrenia traits.

Methods: Brain activation was measured using fMRI during an interactive mentalizing paradigm (Prisoner's Dilemma Game) in 164 healthy subjects. The Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire (SPQ-B) was administered to assess the three dimensions of schizotypy, i.e., cognitive-perceptual, interpersonal and disorganized.

Results: We found that interpersonal schizotypy was significantly negatively correlated with brain activation in bilateral precunei and right caudate nucleus (among others) during mentalizing. By contrast, disorganized schizotypy was significantly positively correlated with mentalizing-associated neural activation in right precuneus, left middle cingulate cortex and right cerebellar hemisphere. No significant associations for cognitive-perceptual schizotypy and the SPQ-B total score were found.

Discussion: Our study showed that interpersonal and disorganized schizotypy are associated with neural correlates of mentalizing in brain regions that are involved in self-processing and mentalizing. These brain regions have also been linked to mentalizing in schizophrenia.

Internal Authors/Editors

Last updated on 2019-12-04 at 15:23