Multisensory integration of emotional stimuli in first episode psychosis and ultra high risk states

Presentation First Author: 
Huai-Hsuan Tseng

Background: Multisensory integration (MSI) is impaired in patients with schizophrenia and is associated with neurofunctional alterations in the posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS). However, MSI in first episode psychosis patients (FEP) and individuals at ultra-high risk (UHR) for psychosis remains unclear. We examined the neural correlates of MSI using congruent and incongruent audiovisual emotional stimuli in FEP patients, UHR, and healthy control subjects (HC). Methods: 20 HC, 15 UHR and 17 FEP were scanned using 1.5 T functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging during a MSI task. Ninety-six emotional prosodic voice clips were presented simultaneously with emotionally congruent or incongruent video clips with morphing facial expressions. Participants were instructed to judge the emotions within the voice. Voxel-wise and regions of interest (ROI) analyses were conducted. Results: FEP patients showed reduced recognition accuracy for all trials relative to HC, with UHR subjects performing intermediately between FEP and HC. Voxel-wise analysis revealed a group-by-task interaction in the right precuneus where FEP patients showed increased activation relative to HC during incongruent trials. ROI analysis revealed that FEP patients showed increased activation in right pSTS relative to HC, who showed deactivation in this area. Conclusion: FEP patients failed to deactivate the visually-sensitive region of the right pSTS during audiovisual integration, which may reflect difficulties with sensory gating. Attentional modulation may also be perturbed by failure to deactivate default mode network regions during incongruent multisensory trials. Similar pattern of task-related activation in UHR and HC suggest that MSI deficits are associated with established psychosis rather than vulnerability.

Conference Name: 
Presentation Date: 
January, 2015
Additional Authors: 
Jonathan Roiser - Gemma Modinos - Irina Falkenberg - Carly Samson - Philip McGuire - Paul Allen
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