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Schizotypy and brain structure: a voxel-based morphometry study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

G. Modinos, A. Mechelli, J. Ormel, N. A. Groenewold, A. Aleman, P. K. McGuire

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1423 - 1431
Number of pages9
JournalPsychological Medicine
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2010

King's Authors


Background. Schizotypy is conceptualized as a subclinical manifestation of the same underlying biological factors that give rise to schizophrenia and other schizophrenia spectrum disorders. Individuals with psychometric schizotypy (PS) experience subthreshold psychotic signs and can be psychometrically identified among the general population. Previous research using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has shown gray-matter volume (GMV) abnormalities in chronic schizophrenia, in subjects with an at-risk mental state (ARMS) and in individuals with schizotypal personality disorder (SPD). However, to date, no studies have investigated the neuroanatomical correlates of PS. Method. Six hundred first-and second-year university students completed the Community Assessment of Psychic Experiences (CAPE), a self-report instrument on psychosis proneness measuring attenuated positive psychotic experiences. A total of 38 subjects with high and low PS were identified and subsequently scanned with MRI. Voxel-based morphometry (VBM) was applied to examine GMV differences between subjects with high and low positive PS. Results. Subjects with high positive PS showed larger global volumes compared to subjects with low PS, and larger regional volumes in the medial posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) and the precuneus. There were no regions where GMV was greater in low than in high positive PS subjects. Conclusions. These regions, the PCC and precuneus, have also been sites of volumetric differences in MRI studies of ARMS subjects and schizophrenia, suggesting that psychotic or psychotic-like experiences may have common neuroanatomical correlates across schizophrenia spectrum disorders.

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