Hypofrontality in unmedicated schizophrenia patients studied with PET during performance of a serial verbal learning task

Erin A. Hazlett, Monte S. Buchsbaum, Lily Ann Jeu, Igor Nenadic, Michael B. Fleischman, Lina Shihabuddin, M. Mehmet Haznedar, Philip D. Harvey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

120 Scopus citations


Previous research indicates that verbal learning and memory deficits are among the most severe cognitive deficits observed in schizophrenia. However, the concomitant patterns of regional brain function associated with these deficits in schizophrenia are not well understood. The present study examined verbal-memory performance and simultaneous relative glucose metabolic rates (rGMR) with FDG PET in 20 unmedicated schizophrenia patients who met stringent memory-performance criteria and 32 age- and sex-matched normal volunteers. On a modified version of the California Verbal Learning Test, patients recalled fewer correct words using a semantic-clustering strategy and exhibited more intrusions compared with normal subjects. However, patients had higher serial-ordering strategy scores, indicating their use of a less efficient organizational strategy. Among patients, greater use of the serial-ordering strategy was associated with decreased rGMR in frontal cortex and increased rGMR in temporal cortex. Patients had lower rGMR primarily in frontal and temporal cortex, but not parietal and occipital lobe regions. Patients also exhibited hypofrontality (lower ratio of frontal to occipital rGMR) compared with normal subjects. Among the patients, more severe hypofrontality was associated with increased perseveration errors. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-46
Number of pages14
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 25 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Frontal cortex
  • Neuropsychology
  • Positron emission tomography
  • Schizophrenia
  • Temporal cortex
  • Verbal memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Neurology
  • Psychology(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Hypofrontality in unmedicated schizophrenia patients studied with PET during performance of a serial verbal learning task'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this