Arithmetic and temporal transformations of working memory activation in subjects prone to psychosis
Working memory (WM) deficit is a well-studied cognitive impairment in psychosis which is stemming from various developmental abnormalities containing neurobiological heterogeneity. Recently, many studies have concluded that the WM impairment is a symptom which manifests itself before the onset of the disorder, but these studies mostly focused on the individuals at clinically high risk. The mild proneness to psychosis which develops during the adolescent period is not well understood and how the working memory is affected due to mild proneness to psychosis has not been elucidated heretofore. In this research, we aimed to examine the association between the mild proneness to psychosis and working memory processing. Thirty-two individuals were split in half as mildly prone to psychosis and not prone to psychosis based on the Structured Interview for Schizotypy (SIS-R). Each participant performed a robust working memory task which consists of computational and temporally varying information loads. The data were collected via a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner and analysed by applying a general linear model to detect altered working memory activations due to proneness to psychosis. We have observed that the processes requiring manipulation and rapid updating of the information are associated with a large network of prefrontal cortex and superior parietal lobule. The finding of this study suggests that the mild proneness to psychosis has affected the working memory weakly and that the alterations demonstrated in the prefrontal cortex and parietal lobules may be clinically relevant to psychosis.