The ability to think of the long-term consequences of one's behavior and use this information to guide present and future actions, commonly referred to as foresight, is a key higher-order cognitive ability that may be deficient among persons with schizophrenia and substantially limit the degree to which such individuals experience a functional recovery from the disease. This research investigated the neuroanatomical basis of foresight in schizophrenia, in order to identify potential brain regions that may underlie impaired foresightfulness among this population. Participants in the early course of schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder (N = 50) were assessed using structural magnetic resonance imaging and clinician-rated measures of foresight and psychopathology. Voxel-based morphometry was used to examine the relationship between foresight and regional gray matter volume in the ventromedial prefrontal, orbitofrontal and cingulate cortices. Significant positive associations were observed between foresight and gray matter volume density in the right orbitofrontal, ventromedial prefrontal, and posterior cingulate cortices, as well as the left ventromedial prefrontal and anterior cingulate cortices, after correcting for multiple comparisons. These relationships persisted after adjusting for age, gender, illness duration, and psychopathology. Better foresight was most strongly associated with increased gray matter in the right orbitofrontal/ventromedial prefrontal cortex, suggesting that reductions in gray matter volume in this region may be associated with impaired foresight in schizophrenia. Implications and directions for future research are discussed. © 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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