Hippocampal underactivation in an fMRI study of word and face memory recognition in schizophrenia

  • Giuseppina Rametti
  • Carme Junqué
  • Pere Vendrell
  • Rosa Catalán
  • Rafael Penadés
  • Nuria Bargalló
  • Miguel Bernardo


Schizophrenia is a major mental disorder which is characterized by several cognitive deficits. Investigations of the neural basis of memory dysfunctions using neuroimaging techniques suggest that the hippocampus plays an important role in declarative memory impairment. The goal of this study was to investigate possible dysfunctions in cerebral activation in schizophrenic patients during both word and face recognition memory tasks. We tested 22 schizophrenics and 24 controls matched by gender, age, handedness and parental socioeconomic status. Compared to healthy volunteers, patients with schizophrenia showed decreased bilateral hippocampal activation during word and face recognition tasks. The whole brain analysis also showed a pattern of cortical and subcortical hypoactivation for both verbal and non-verbal recognition. This study provides further evidence of hippocampal involvement in declarative memory impairments of schizophrenia.


hippocampus word recognition face recognition schizophrenia  


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Copyright information

© Steinkopff Verlag Darmstadt 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giuseppina Rametti
    • 1
    • 3
  • Carme Junqué
    • 1
    • 3
  • Pere Vendrell
    • 1
    • 3
  • Rosa Catalán
    • 2
    • 3
  • Rafael Penadés
    • 2
    • 3
  • Nuria Bargalló
    • 3
    • 4
  • Miguel Bernardo
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and Clinical PsychobiologyUniversity of BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Clinical Institute of NeurosciencesHospital Clinic i ProvincialBarcelonaSpain
  3. 3.Institute of Biomedical Research August Pi i Sunyer (IDIBAPS)BarcelonaSpain
  4. 4.Neuroradiology Section, Radiology Department, Centre de Diagnòstic per la imatge (CDI)Hospital Clinic i ProvincialBarcelonaSpain

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