Schizophrenia is a complex chronic mental illness that is characterized by positive, negative and cognitive symptoms. Cognitive deficits are most predictive of long-term outcomes, with abnormalities in memory being the most robust finding. The advent of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has allowed exploring neural correlates of memory deficits in vivo. In this article, we will give a selective review of fMRI studies probing brain regions and functional networks that are thought to be related to abnormal memory performance in two memory systems prominently affected in schizophrenia; working memory and episodic memory. We revisit the classic "hypofrontality" hypothesis of working memory deficits and explore evidence for frontotemporal dysconnectivity underlying episodic memory abnormalities. We conclude that fMRI studies of memory deficits in schizophrenia are far from universal. However, the current literature does suggest that alterations are not isolated to a few brain regions, but are characterized by abnormalities within large-scale brain networks.
Keywords: dorsolateral prefrontal cortex; functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI); hippocampus; medial temporal lobe; memory; schizophrenia.