Reduced Functional Connectivity in Brain Networks Underlying Paired Associates Memory Encoding in Schizophrenia

  • Meighen M. Roes
    Affiliations
    Department of Psychology, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

    BC Mental Health and Substance Use Research Institute, Provincial Health Services Authority, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
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  • Abhijit M. Chinchani
    Affiliations
    Department of Psychology, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

    Department of Bioinformatics, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
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  • Todd S. Woodward
    Correspondence
    Address correspondence to Todd S. Woodward, Ph.D.
    Affiliations
    Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

    BC Mental Health and Substance Use Research Institute, Provincial Health Services Authority, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
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      Abstract

      Background

      Deficits in relational episodic memory encoding are characteristic of schizophrenia (SZ), but whole-brain multivariate analyses of these deficits have been lacking. Open science has provided task-based functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data investigating paired associate encoding in SZ, but it has not yet been mobilized to address this gap in the literature. Therefore, in this study, we use previously unpublished task fMRI data to conduct the first network-level investigation of impaired relational episodic encoding in SZ.

      Methods

      Using fMRI data acquired from 40 healthy control participants and 40 age- and sex-matched persons with SZ, we examined the networks involved in successful versus unsuccessful encoding of verbal paired associates using an associative semantic strategy.

      Results

      Constrained principal component analysis for fMRI revealed 3 distinct functional networks recruited during encoding: a responding network, a linguistic processing/attention network, and the default mode network. Relative to the healthy control group, the SZ group exhibited aberrant activity in all 3 networks during successful encoding; namely, hypoactivation in the linguistic processing/attention network, lower peak activation in the responding network, and weaker suppression in the default mode network. Independent of group effects, a pattern of stronger anticorrelating linguistic processing/attention–default mode network activity during successful encoding significantly predicted subsequent retrieval of paired associates.

      Conclusions

      Together with previous observations of language network hypoactivation during controlled semantic processes, these results suggest that abnormalities in networks representing language and meaning may contribute to difficulties employing deep semantic strategies during relational episodic encoding in SZ.

      Keywords

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