Examination of the neural basis of psychotic-like experiences in adolescence during processing of emotional faces

Evangelos Papanastasiou, Elias Mouchlianitis, Dan W. Joyce, Philip McGuire, Celia Boussebaa, Tobias Banaschewski, Arun L.W. Bokde, Christian Büchel, Erin Quinlan, Sylvane Desrivières, Herta Flor, Antoine Grigis, Hugh Garavan, Philip Spechler, Penny Gowland, Andreas Heinz, Bernd Ittermann, Marie Laure Paillère Martinot, Eric Artiges, Frauke NeesDimitri Papadopoulos Orfanos, Tomáš Paus, Luise Poustka, Sabina Millenet, Juliane H. Fröhner, Michael N. Smolka, Henrik Walter, Robert Whelan, Gunter Schumann, Sukhwinder S. Shergill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Contemporary theories propose that dysregulation of emotional perception is involved in the aetiology of psychosis. 298 healthy adolescents were assessed at age 14- and 19-years using fMRI while performing a facial emotion task. Psychotic-like experiences (PLEs) were assessed with the CAPE-42 questionnaire at age 19. The high PLEs group at age 19 years exhibited an enhanced response in right insular cortex and decreased response in right prefrontal, right parahippocampal and left striatal regions; also, a gradient of decreasing response to emotional faces with age, from 14 to 19 years, in the right parahippocampal region and left insular cortical area. The right insula demonstrated an increasing response to emotional faces with increasing age in the low PLEs group, and a decreasing response over time in the high PLEs group. The change in parahippocampal/amygdala and insula responses during the perception of emotional faces in adolescents with high PLEs between the ages of 14 and 19 suggests a potential 'aberrant' neurodevelopmental trajectory for critical limbic areas. Our findings emphasize the role of the frontal and limbic areas in the aetiology of psychotic symptoms, in subjects without the illness phenotype and the confounds introduced by antipsychotic medication.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5164
Number of pages1
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 20 Mar 2020


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