Individuals with schizophrenia and social anhedonia show altered neural processing for predicting social reward

Individuals with schizophrenia and social anhedonia show altered neural processing for predicting social reward

Individuals with schizophrenia and social anhedonia show altered neural processing for predicting social reward

Abstract: Individuals with schizophrenia and social anhedonia show altered neural processing for social reward processing, leading to impaired social interaction and social dysfunction.

Source: Chinese Academy of Sciences

Schizophrenia patients and individuals with social anhedonia have been shown to exhibit impaired social reward processing that ultimately leads to impaired social interaction and social dysfunctions.

However, most previous studies of social reward prediction in schizophrenia spectrum disorders have been limited to behavioral designs. It remains unclear whether the putative neural processing for anticipation of social reward is altered in both individuals with schizophrenia and individuals with social anhedonia.

Recently, a research team led by Dr. Raymond Chan of the Institute of Psychology (IP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) conducted a study to specifically examine the underlying neural mechanisms of social reward anticipation in these populations.

The study was published in European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience October 28.

The researchers recruited 23 people with schizophrenia and 17 healthy controls, as well as 37 people with social anhedonia and 50 healthy controls to complete a social stimulus delay recording task while undergoing MRI brain scans.

They found that individuals with schizophrenia showed hypoactivation of the left medial frontal gyrus and negative functional connectivity (FC) with left parietal regions.

Individuals with schizophrenia and social anhedonia show altered neural processing for predicting social reward
They found that individuals with schizophrenia showed hypoactivation of the left medial frontal gyrus and negative functional connectivity (FC) with left parietal regions. The image is in the public domain

However, individuals with social anhedonia showed hyper-activation of the left middle frontal gyrus when anticipating a social reward.

Moreover, individuals with schizophrenia showed increased cerebellum-temporal FC, while individuals with social anhedonia showed increased FC in left frontal regions.

These findings suggest that both individuals with schizophrenia and social anhedonia exhibit altered neural processing for anticipation of social reward, and such neural activity exhibits a weakened association with actual social network characteristics.

The study advances our understanding of the neural underpinnings of social motivation in schizophrenia spectrum disorders.

About this mental health research news

Author: Li Yuan
Source: Chinese Academy of Sciences
Contact: Li Yuan – Chinese Academy of Sciences
Picture: The image is in the public domain

Original research: Closed access.
Altered neural mechanism of anticipation of social reward in persons with schizophrenia and social anhedonia” Yi-jing Zhang et al. European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience


Abstract

Altered neural mechanism of anticipation of social reward in persons with schizophrenia and social anhedonia

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This shows the brain

Altered anticipation of social reward could be found in patients with schizophrenia (SCZ) and individuals with high levels of social anhedonia (SA).

However, little research has investigated the putative neural processing for altered social reward anticipation in these SCZ spectrum populations.

This research aimed to examine the underlying neural mechanisms of social reward anticipation in these populations.

Twenty-three SCZ patients and 17 healthy controls (HC), 37 SA individuals, and 50 matched HCs completed a social stimulus imaging (SID) task while undergoing MRI brain scans.

We used a group contrast to examine changes in BOLD activation and functional connectivity (FC, psychophysiological interaction analysis). We then characterized the social brain network (SBN) beta series based on meta-analysis results from NeuroSynth and examined their predictive effects on real-life social network (SN) characteristics using partial least square regression analysis.

The results showed that patients with SCZ showed hypoactivation of the left medial frontal gyrus and negative FCs with left parietal regions, while individuals with SA showed hyperactivation of the left middle frontal gyrus when anticipating a social reward. For the beta-series of SBNs, SCZ patients had strengthened cerebellum-temporal FCs, while SA individuals had strengthened left frontal FC regions. However, such FCs of SBNs failed to predict the characteristics of SNs in real life.

These preliminary findings suggest that SCZ patients and individuals with SA appear to exhibit altered neural processing for anticipation of social reward, and such neural activity showed attenuated association with real-life SN characteristics.

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