Functional neuroanatomy of sustained attention in schizophrenia: contribution of parietal cortices
Ojeda N, Ortuño F, Arbizu J, López P, Martí-Climent JM, Peñuelas I, Cervera-Enguix S.
Deficits in sustained attention have been frequently described in schizophrenia.
The neuroanatomical basis reported previously have included altered levels of activation in cingulate and prefrontal cortex, but the contribution of further regions remains unclear. We explored the full neuroanatomy underlying the sustained attentional deficits observed in naïve schizophrenics compared with controls. Participants included 10 controls and 11 patients. The experimental design included rest, auditory stimulation using clicks, and two counting tasks. Subjects were instructed to mentally count the clicks, and then to count forward at the same frequency they heard previously when listening to the clicks. Relative cerebral blood flow (relCBF) was measured by means of PET (15)O-water.
Differences were observed between both groups at superior temporal cortex, superior parietal gyrus, and cerebellum during tasks requiring listening. During all counting conditions, additionally to supplementary motor area (SMA), dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPCF), precentral gyrus, cingulate, cerebellum, and inferior parietal (IP) gyrus, patients engaged other frontal structures including inferior, medial, and superior frontal areas. When counting with no auditory stimulation (C; requires components of working memory and time estimation), significant differences were observed in the level of activation of frontal and IP regions.
Our naïve patients presented abnormal activation of auditory associative pathways. They failed to activate prefrontal and parietal regions at a similar level during tasks requiring increased cognitive effort, and they required a higher activation of inferior frontal regions to properly respond to cognitive demands.
CITATION Hum Brain Mapp. 2002 Oct;17(2):116-30