Distinct neural correlates for attention lapses in patients with schizophrenia and healthy participants

Ryan C. Phillips, Taylor Salo, Cameron S Carter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Momentary lapses in attention are common in healthy populations. This phenomenon has recently received increased investigation, particularly in relationship to the default mode network (DMN). Previous research has suggested that these lapses may be due to intrusive task-irrelevant thoughts. The study of this phenomenon in schizophrenia, which is characterized by a wide variety of cognitive deficits including deficits in attention, has not previously been explored. We used the AX Continuous Performance Task to investigate attention lapses in healthy participants as well as patients with schizophrenia. We found distinct patterns of network activation between these two groups. Lapses in healthy participants were associated with DMN activation, while in patients, the same behavioral phenomenon was associated with deactivations in frontal-parietal control network (FPCN) regions. When considered in contrast to the results observed in healthy participants, these results suggest an additional origin of attention lapses in patients derived from a loss of task-related context, rather than intrusive task-irrelevant thoughts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number502
JournalFrontiers in Human Neuroscience
Issue numberOCT
StatePublished - Oct 6 2015


  • Attention lapses
  • Default mode network
  • fMRI
  • Mind wandering
  • Schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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