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Cortical oscillatory activity is critical for working memory as revealed by deficits in early-onset schizophrenia

Haenschel, Corinna, Bittner, Robert A., Waltz, James, Haertling, Fabian, Wibral, Michael, Singer, Wolf, Linden, David Edmund Johannes and Rodriguez, Eugenio 2009. Cortical oscillatory activity is critical for working memory as revealed by deficits in early-onset schizophrenia. Journal of Neuroscience 29 (30) , pp. 9481-9489. 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1428-09.2009

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Impairments in working memory (WM) are a core cognitive deficit in schizophrenia. Neurophysiological models suggest that deficits during WM maintenance in schizophrenia may be explained by abnormalities in the GABAergic system, which will lead to deficits in high-frequency oscillations. However, it is not yet clear which of the threeWMphases (encoding, maintenance, retrieval) are affected by dysfunctional oscillatory activity. We investigated the relationship between impairments in oscillatory activity in a broad frequency range (3–100 Hz) and WM load in the different phases of WM in 14 patients with early-onset schizophrenia and 14 matched control participants using a delayed matching to sample paradigm. During encoding, successful memorization was predicted by evoked theta, alpha, and beta oscillatory activity in controls. Patients showed severe reductions in the evoked activity in these frequency bands. During earlyWMmaintenance, patients showed a comparable WMload-dependent increase in induced alpha and gamma activity to controls. In contrast, during the later maintenance phase, patients showed a shift in the peak of induced gamma activity to the lowerWMload conditions. Finally, induced theta and gamma activity were reduced in patients during retrieval. Our findings suggest that theWMdeficit in schizophrenia is associated with impaired oscillatory activity during all phases of the task and that the cortical storage system reaches its capacity limit at lower loads. Inability to maintain oscillatory activity in specific frequency bands could thus result in the information overload that may underlie both cognitive deficits and psychopathological symptoms of schizophrenia.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (CNGG)
Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute (NMHRI)
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Additional Information: Pdf uploaded in accordance with publisher's policy at (accessed 27/02/2014).
Publisher: Society for Neuroscience
ISSN: 0270-6474
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 03:54

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