Orbitofrontal sulcogyral pattern and olfactory sulcus depth in the schizophrenia spectrum

  • Yumiko NishikawaEmail author
  • Tsutomu Takahashi
  • Yoichiro Takayanagi
  • Atsushi Furuichi
  • Mikio Kido
  • Mihoko Nakamura
  • Daiki Sasabayashi
  • Kyo Noguchi
  • Michio Suzuki
Original Paper


Morphological changes in the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), such as an altered sulcogyral pattern of the ‘H-shaped’ orbital sulcus and a shallow olfactory sulcus, have been demonstrated in schizophrenia, possibly reflecting deviations in early neurodevelopment. However, it remains unclear whether patients with schizotypal features exhibit similar OFC changes. This magnetic resonance imaging study examined the OFC sulcogyral pattern (Types I, II, III, and IV) and olfactory sulcus morphology in 102 patients with schizophrenia, 47 patients with schizotypal disorder, and 84 healthy controls. The OFC sulcogyral pattern distribution between the groups was significantly different on the right hemisphere, with the schizophrenia patients showing a decrease in Type I (vs controls and schizotypal patients) and an increase in Type III (vs controls) expression. However, the schizotypal patients and controls did not differ in the OFC pattern. There were significant group differences in the olfactory sulcus depth bilaterally (schizophrenia patients < schizotypal patients < controls). Our findings suggest that schizotypal disorder, a milder form of schizophrenia spectrum disorders, partly shares the OFC changes (i.e., altered depth of the olfactory sulcus) with schizophrenia, possibly reflecting a common disease vulnerability. However, altered distribution of the OFC pattern specific to schizophrenia may at least partly reflect neurodevelopmental pathology related to a greater susceptibility to overt psychosis.


Orbitofrontal cortex Olfactory sulcus Magnetic resonance imaging Schizophrenia Schizotypal disorder 



This research was supported in part by Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (C) (Nos. 22591275, 24591699, 26461739) and Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (B) (No. 24390281) from the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science, Health and Labour Sciences Research Grants (Comprehensive Research on Disability, Health and Welfare, H23-Seishin-Ippan-002 and H23-Seishin-Ippan-009), and Research Grants from the JSPS Asian Core Program and the Research Group For Schizophrenia, Japan. The authors would like to thank Prof. Hideki Origasa (Department of Biostatistics and Clinical Epidemiology, University of Toyama Graduate School of Medicine and Pharmaceutical Sciences) for his support in statistical analyses. We would also like to thank the radiological technologists, especially Mr. Koichi Mori and Mr. Sadanori Ito, who assisted in the MRI data collection at Toyama University Hospital.

Conflict of interest

There are no conflicts of interest for any of the authors including any financial, personal, or other relationships with other people or organizations within three years of beginning the submitted work that could inappropriately influence, or be perceived to influence, our work.

Supplementary material

406_2015_587_MOESM1_ESM.pptx (469 kb)
Scatter plots for the olfactory sulcus depth, age, and intracranial volume (ICV) in each diagnostic group. Only the age among these variables was not normally distributed (Kolmogorov–Smirnov test, p < 0.001), but there was no quadratic (left, p = 0.34; right, p = 0.37) or cubic (left, p = 0.44; right, p = 0.50) correlation between age and sulcus depth (PPTX 469 kb)
406_2015_587_MOESM2_ESM.pptx (75 kb)
Distribution of the orbitofrontal sulcogyral pattern in each diagnostic group. *p < 0.01, **p < 0.05 (PPTX 75 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yumiko Nishikawa
    • 1
    Email author
  • Tsutomu Takahashi
    • 1
  • Yoichiro Takayanagi
    • 1
  • Atsushi Furuichi
    • 1
  • Mikio Kido
    • 1
  • Mihoko Nakamura
    • 1
  • Daiki Sasabayashi
    • 1
  • Kyo Noguchi
    • 2
  • Michio Suzuki
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of NeuropsychiatryUniversity of Toyama Graduate School of Medicine and Pharmaceutical SciencesToyamaJapan
  2. 2.Department of RadiologyUniversity of Toyama Graduate School of Medicine and Pharmaceutical SciencesToyamaJapan

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