Abnormalities in midline attentional circuitry in schizophrenia: evidence from magnetic resonance and positron emission tomography

Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 1995;5 Suppl:37-41. doi: 10.1016/0924-977x(95)00028-n.


The syndrome of schizophrenia presents with a complex array of symptoms that are difficult to explain at the neural level. Data collected using magnetic resonance (MR) and positron emission tomography (PET) suggest that this complex array could occur as a consequence of misconnections and mismatches in midline circuitry that is reticular-thalamic-cingulate-cortical. MR studies have shown a variety of abnormalities, including callosal agenesis, cavum septi pellucidi, decreased thalamic size, decreased frontal size, and changes in signal intensity in white matter tracts between the thalamus and the frontal cortex. PET studies using a dichotic listening paradigm suggest that patients suffering from schizophrenia have brain blood flow abnormalities consistent with a difficulty in focusing or shifting attention, which may reflect the functional substrate of the anatomic abnormalities.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Attention / physiology*
  • Brain / pathology
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Schizophrenia / diagnostic imaging*
  • Schizophrenia / physiopathology
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed