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Fletcher PC, Anderson JM, Shanks DR, Honey R, Carpenter TA, Donovan T, Papadakis N, Bullmore ET. Responses of human frontal cortex to surprising events are predicted by formal associative learning theory. Nat Neurosci . 2001 Oct ; 4(10):1043-8. PubMed Abstract

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Related News: Learning Differences May Predict Vulnerability to Psychoses

Comment by:  Cameron Carter
Submitted 30 June 2006 Posted 30 June 2006

Corlett and the group from Cambridge seek to gain insights into mechanisms related to the formation of delusions, one of the core positive symptoms of schizophrenia, using fMRI and an associative learning task, and as a pharmacological model of psychosis, the ketamine challenge in normal volunteers. They report a number of significant and interesting correlations that they interpret within the framework of the reinforcement learning model of associative learning. Right prefrontal activity associated with unexpected negative feedback during the placebo phase (a prediction error signal) correlates with two measures of “early” delusional thinking during higher-dose ketamine challenge. Measures of sensory disturbances during high-dose ketamine correlate with measures of early delusional thinking. And low-dose ketamine-related changes in the response to feedback are correlated with early delusional thinking during high-dose ketamine. Ketamine also appears to have an effect on the acquisition of associations within this paradigm. The authors conclude that their result implicates...  Read more

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