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Schizophrenia and cognitive dysmetria: a positron-emission tomography study of dysfunctional prefrontal-thalamic-cerebellar circuitry.

Patients suffering from schizophrenia display subtle cognitive abnormalities that may reflect a difficulty in rapidly coordinating the steps that occur in a variety of mental activities. Working interactively with the prefrontal cortex, the cerebellum may play a role in coordinating both motor and cognitive performance. This positron-emission tomography study suggests the presence of a prefrontal-thalamic-cerebellar network that is activated when normal subjects recall complex narrative material, but is dysfunctional in schizophrenic patients when they perform the same task. These results support a role for the cerebellum in cognitive functions and suggest that patients with schizophrenia may suffer from a "cognitive dysmetria" due to dysfunctional prefrontal-thalamic-cerebellar circuitry.

Pubmed ID: 8790444


  • Andreasen NC
  • O'Leary DS
  • Cizadlo T
  • Arndt S
  • Rezai K
  • Ponto LL
  • Watkins GL
  • Hichwa RD


Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Publication Data

September 3, 1996

Associated Grants

  • Agency: NIMH NIH HHS, Id: MH31593
  • Agency: NIMH NIH HHS, Id: MH40856
  • Agency: NIMH NIH HHS, Id: MHCRC43271

Mesh Terms

  • Adult
  • Cerebellum
  • Cognition Disorders
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Memory
  • Prefrontal Cortex
  • Schizophrenia
  • Thalamus
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed