Anterior cingulate gyrus dysfunction and selective attention deficits in schizophrenia: [ 15O]H 2O PET study during single-trial stroop task performance

Cameron S Carter, Mark Mintun, Thomas Nichols, Jonathan D. Cohen

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Abstract

Objective: Attentional deficits are a prominent aspect of cognitive dysfunction in schizophrenia. The anterior cingulate gyrus is proposed to be an important component of frontal attentional control systems. Structural and functional abnormalities have been reported in this region in schizophrenia, but their relationship to attentional deficits is unknown. The authors investigated the function of the anterior cingulate gyrus and the related neural systems that are associated with selective attention in patients with schizophrenia. Method: While subjects performed multiple blocks of a single- trial Stroop task, [ 15O]H 2O positron emission tomography scans were obtained. Fourteen patients with schizophrenia were compared with 15 normal subjects matched for age, gender, and parental education. Results: The patients with schizophrenia responded at the same rate but made more errors in color naming during the color-incongruent condition. Consistent with the authors' hypothesis, patients with schizophrenia showed significantly less anterior cingulate gyrus activation while naming the color of color- incongruent stimuli. Conclusions: Patients with schizophrenia fail to activate the anterior cingulate gyrus during selective attention performance. This finding adds to the understanding of the functional significance of the structural and metabolic abnormalities in schizophrenia that have been previously reported in this region of the brain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1670-1675
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychiatry
Volume154
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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