Schizophrenia patients are often impaired in their memory for emotional events compared with healthy subjects. Investigations of the neural correlates of emotional memory in schizophrenia patients are scarce in the literature. The present study aimed to compare cerebral activations in schizophrenia patients and healthy controls during memory retrieval of emotional images that varied in both valence and arousal. In a study with functional magnetic resonance imaging, 37 schizophrenia patients were compared with 37 healthy participants while performing a yes/no recognition paradigm with positive, negative (differing in arousal intensity) and neutral images. Schizophrenia patients performed worse than healthy controls in all experimental conditions. They showed less cerebral activation in limbic and prefrontal regions than controls during retrieval of negatively valenced stimuli, but had a similar pattern of brain activation compared with controls during retrieval of positively valenced stimuli (particularly in the high arousal condition) in the cerebellum, temporal lobe and prefrontal cortex. Both groups demonstrated increased brain activations in the high relative to low arousing conditions. Our results suggest atypical brain function during retrieval of negative pictures, but intact functional circuitry of positive affect during episodic memory retrieval in schizophrenia patients. The arousal data revealed that schizophrenia patients closely resemble the control group at both the behavioral and neurofunctional level.
- Emotional memory
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Psychiatry and Mental health