RESEARCH ARTICLE


A Neuroanatomical Basis for the Frequency of Discrete Spontaneous Activities in Schizophrenia



Tom F.D Farrow*, a, Michael D Huntera, Iain D Wilkinsonb, Sean A Spencea
a Academic Clinical Psychiatry, University of Sheffield, The Longley Centre, Northern General Hospital, Norwood Grange Drive, Sheffield S5 7JT, UK;
b Academic Unit of Radiology, University of Sheffield, C-Floor, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Glossop Road, Sheffield. S10 2JF, UK


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© Farrow et al; Licensee Bentham Open

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/-licenses/by-nc/3.0/) which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Sheffield Cognition and Neuroimaging Laboratory (SCANLab), Academic Clinical Psychiatry, University of Sheffield, The Longley Centre, Northern General Hospital, Norwood Grange Drive, Sheffield S5 7JT, UK; Tel: +44 (0)114 226 1511; Fax: +44 (0)114 226 1522; E-mail: t.f.farrow@sheffield.ac.uk


Abstract

Limited behavioural repertoire impacts quality of life in chronic schizophrenia. We have previously shown that the amount of movement exhibited by patients with schizophrenia is positively correlated with the volume of left anterior cingulate cortex and that this quantity of movement can be increased by modafinil. However, increased movement in itself may be of limited clinical significance. Hence, we sought to analyse the ‘structure’ of spontaneous movement in patients with schizophrenia and to examine whether the chunking of spontaneous activity has a neuroanatomical basis. ‘Actiwatches’ were used to record spontaneous motor activity over a 20 hour period in sixteen male patients with schizophrenia. Time-series data were analysed for the number of discrete spontaneous activities, which might indicate a degree of structure to ongoing activity. Subjects underwent a whole-brain structural MRI scan. The ‘number of discrete movement epochs’ correlated with volumes of regions within bilateral rostro-ventral putamen and temporal poles. These data suggest that in people with schizophrenia the volume of bilateral putamen may influence the complexity of their behaviours, as distinct from the overall amount of behaviour. The results are presented in the context of a large body of previous research examining the role of the basal ganglia in motor and cognitive pattern generation.