Amygdalar Gray Matter Volume and Social Relating in Schizophrenia

Neuropsychobiology. 2016;74(3):139-143. doi: 10.1159/000458528. Epub 2017 Apr 26.


Background: Poor social relating is a prominent feature of schizophrenia. The amygdala has been suggested as an important node in social brain networks.

Methods: By using structural magnetic resonance imaging, this study examined, for the first time, the relationship between amygdalar gray matter (GM) volume and social relating in 35 schizophrenia patients. Social anhedonia, interaction anxiety, extraversion, and sociable tendencies were assessed as indices of social relating.

Results: A correlation between GM volume in the amygdala and enhanced social relating was revealed.

Conclusion: These findings indicate that volumetric decreases in the amygdala are related to impoverished sociability in schizophrenia.

Keywords: Amygdala; Magnetic resonance imaging; Schizophrenia; Social impairment; Voxel-based morphometry.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Amygdala / diagnostic imaging
  • Amygdala / pathology*
  • Female
  • Gray Matter / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Schizophrenia / diagnostic imaging
  • Schizophrenia / pathology*
  • Schizophrenic Psychology*
  • Social Behavior*
  • Young Adult