Background: We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate the frontotemporal disconnection hypothesis of schizophrenia.
Methods: Eight DSM-IV schizophrenia patients and 10 control subjects were studied with fMRI while they thought of the missing last word in 128 visually presented sentences. The fMRI data were analyzed comparing the effect of sentence completion (vs. rest) using a random effects analysis.
Results: There were no significant group differences in regional brain responses. Correlation coefficients between left temporal cortex (x = -54, y = -42, z = 3) and left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (x = -39, y = 12, z = 24) were significantly lower in the schizophrenic group and were negatively correlated with the severity of auditory hallucinations.
Conclusions: Previous demonstrations of hypofrontality in schizophrenia may reflect particular task requirements. Frontotemporal functional connectivity is reduced in schizophrenia and may be associated with auditory hallucinations.