Prefrontal Abnormality in Schizophrenia
Professor James Watson notes that a feature of the schizophrenic brain is a smaller prefrontal cortex. This may relate to difficulties in problem-solving.
The most devastating feature of schizophrenia, one for which none of the medicines really work, is a diminished prefrontal cortex. That is, schizophrenics find it very hard to plan ahead, to really think about the future. When measured by IQ tests, the IQ of a schizophrenic is generally fifteen points lower than it would be without the disease. There would be some who would normally have very high IQs, but itâ€™s always diminished. Kraepelin, one of the early investigators of schizophrenia called it Dementia Praecox, as if there was a dementia taking place. So, the most awful feature of schizophrenia is just the inability of the brain just to function â€“ its learning. So, what we want to find is, what goes wrong with the learning process, why doesnâ€™t the prefrontal cortex function? The ability for people with schizophrenia to solve puzzles is really diminished, their ability to recognize faces, or vocabulary, is diminished, but not to the same extent as just problem-solving.
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Professor Earl Miller explains that neurons in the prefrontal cortex respond to recognize very specific categories of object such as 'dog' or 'cat'.
An overview of schizophrenia-related content on Genes to Cognition Online.
An overview of thinking-related content on Genes to Cognition Online.
Professor David Lewis discusses how the diversity of symptoms in schizophrenia is reflected in the diversity of genetic and neural causes of the disorder.
Professor James Watson explains that although schizophrenia is rarely diagnosed before adolescence, abnormalities may exist from an early age.
Professor Philip Shaw outlines the main functions of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, which include planning, attention, and working memory.
Professor Bruce McEwen describes how the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex mediate the parasympathetic system, which is associated with risk-taking.
Professor Earl Miller describes research that shows objects are recognized using higher brain regions, specifically the prefrontal cortex.
Professor James Watson explains that although bipolar disorder and schizophrenia share some symptoms, they have a different impact on lifestyle.
The prefrontal cortex is thought to play an important role in 'higher' brain functions. It is a critical part of the executive system, which refers to planning, reasoning, and judgment.