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posted on 2018-04-11, 04:08 authored by Amanda L. Rodrigue, David J. Schaeffer, Jordan E. Pierce, Brett A. Clementz, Jennifer E. McDowell

Cognitive control impairments in schizophrenia (SZ) can be evaluated using antisaccade tasks and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Studies, however, often compare people with SZ to high performing healthy people, making it unclear if antisaccade-related disruptions are specific to the disease or due to generalized deficits in cognitive control. We included two healthy comparison groups in addition to people with SZ: healthy people with high cognitive control (HCC), who represent a more typical comparison group, and healthy people with low cognitive control (LCC), who perform similarly on antisaccade measures as people with SZ. Using two healthy comparison groups may help determine which antisaccade-related deficits are specific to SZ (distinguish SZ from LCC and HCC groups) and which are due to poor cognitive control (distinguish the LCC and SZ groups from the HCC group). People with SZ and healthy people with HCC or LCC performed an antisaccade task during fMRI acquisition. LCC and SZ groups showed under-activation of saccade circuitry. SZ-specific disruptions were observed in the left superior temporal gyrus and insula during error trials (suppression of activation in the SZ group compared to the LCC and HCC group). Differences related to antisaccade errors may distinguish people with SZ from healthy people with LCC.