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Morris RW, Vercammen A, Lenroot R, Moore L, Langton JM, Short B, Kulkarni J, Curtis J, O'Donnell M, Weickert CS, Weickert TW. Disambiguating ventral striatum fMRI-related BOLD signal during reward prediction in schizophrenia. Mol Psychiatry . 2012 Mar ; 17(3):235, 280-9. PubMed Abstract

Comments on Paper and Primary News
Comment by:  Patricio O'Donnell, SRF Advisor
Submitted 14 July 2011 Posted 15 July 2011
  I recommend this paper

Comment by:  René Kahn, SRF Advisor
Submitted 20 July 2011 Posted 20 July 2011

In their paper, Morris et al. investigate whether schizophrenia is associated with altered neural responses in the ventral striatum to rewards, surprise, or prediction errors. Sixteen patients and 16 matched, healthy controls performed a modified reward task. This task contains standard reward trials (a monetary reward after a correct or fast response) and omission trials (no reward). These trials are standard in that participants can more or less predict (expect) if they will receive a reward or not. Interestingly—and this is what makes the paradigm stand out from the more basic reward tasks—a small number of trials participants unexpectedly receive or fail to receive a reward. In this way, the impact of prediction error and surprise could be disentangled from standard reward processing.

While the above approach is interesting, some weaknesses should be noted that prevent the results from being fully convincing. First, the statistical analysis resulted in clusters of above 1,000 voxels, suggesting that the threshold was too low. Second, the definition of the...  Read more

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