Spontaneous spatial navigation circuitry in schizophrenia spectrum disorders

Psychiatry Res. 2019 Aug;278:125-128. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2019.05.032. Epub 2019 May 21.


Spatial memory is core to wayfinding and everyday memory. Interestingly, individuals with schizophrenia using spatial navigation strategies (cognitive mapping) are impaired, whereas those using response-based (e.g., single-landmark) strategies show relatively intact memory performance. We observed abnormal brain communication in schizophrenia participants who used a spatial strategy during a virtual-reality navigation task, particularly between temporal and frontal brain regions. In contrast, schizophrenia participants using a response strategy recruited similar brain systems to healthy participants, but to a greater extent to support memory performance. These findings highlight that strategy use is an important consideration for understanding memory systems and navigation in schizophrenia.

Keywords: Functional neural networks; Magnetic resonance imaging; Spatial memory.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Frontal Lobe / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Nerve Net / diagnostic imaging
  • Nerve Net / physiopathology*
  • Schizophrenia / diagnostic imaging
  • Schizophrenia / physiopathology*
  • Spatial Memory / physiology*
  • Spatial Navigation / physiology*
  • Temporal Lobe / diagnostic imaging
  • Temporal Lobe / physiopathology*
  • Virtual Reality*
  • Young Adult