Schizophrenia: a disconnection syndrome?

Clin Neurosci. 1995;3(2):89-97.


We review the evidence of pathophysiological changes in the prefrontal and temporal cortices of schizophrenic subjects and of abnormal integration of the physiological dynamics in these two regions. The argument we develop is that some schizophrenic phenomena are best understood in terms of abnormal interactions between different areas, not only at the levels of physiology and functional anatomy, but at the level of cognitive and sensorimotor functioning. We discuss recent functional imaging evidence suggesting abnormal prefronto-temporal interactions in relation to a psychological analysis of experiential symptoms in schizophrenia. Cortico-cortical interactions have been assessed in terms of functional connectivity and eigenimages, using time series of neurophysiological data obtained with positron emission tomography. The results of these analyses suggest that there is a profound disruption of large-scale prefronto-temporal interactions in schizophrenia. These disruptions are particularly relevant if one considers that many positive symptoms of schizophrenia reflect a failure to integrate intrinsically generated behaviour and concurrent perception.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain Mapping
  • Diagnostic Imaging
  • Humans
  • Prefrontal Cortex / pathology
  • Prefrontal Cortex / physiopathology*
  • Schizophrenia / pathology
  • Schizophrenia / physiopathology*
  • Temporal Lobe / pathology
  • Temporal Lobe / physiopathology*