Schizophrenia is a complex illness whose mechanisms are still largely unknown. Functional brain imaging, by making the link between psyche and brain, has recently become an indispensable tool to study in vivo the neural bases underlying cognitive dysfunction in this disease. But despite the proliferation of data coming from this approach, the exact impact of functional imaging on our understanding of the disease remains blurry. In general, studies of the brain functioning of patients with schizophrenia found activation abnormalities which vary in nature and localization depending of the cognitive paradigm used. However, it appears that neurofunctional abnormalities observed in patients cannot be reduced to a simple well-localized deficit. It would be rather an alteration of the dynamics of the interactions between different brain regions that underlie the cognitive disturbances encountered in the disease. Functional brain imaging now offers new perspectives to clarify the dynamics of the brain networks, and particularly those involved in high-level cognitive functions, such as cognitive control or social cognition which seem to play a crucial role in the disease. The characterization of these features is an important issue not only to develop new hypotheses on the pathophysiology of the disorder, but also more pragmatically to identify potential therapeutic targets.
Kaladjian, a, Fakra, E., Adida, M., Belzeaux, R., Cermolacce, M., & Azorin, J.-M. (2011). [Schizophrenia, cognition and neuroimaging]. L’Encéphale, 37 Suppl 2, S123-6. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0013-7006(11)70038-0