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Genetic risk for schizophrenia impacts Theory-of-Mind-related brain activation

Molecular Psychiatry volume 16, page 353 (2011) | Download Citation

Problems with mentalizing, also called Theory of Mind (ToM), are a hallmark of schizophrenia. Here we show that activation during mentalizing of emotions (green) in healthy controls is modulated by a genetic risk variant for psychosis. A frequent functional single-nucleotide polymorphism in an intron of the ZNF804A gene is the first genetic variant that has been found to be associated with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder on a genomewide significance level. Key areas of the ToM-Network (in red) previously found to be hypoactive in schizophrenia show decreasing ToM-specific activation with the number of risk alleles. For more info on this topic, please refer to the article by Walter et al. on pages 462–470.

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Author notes

    • H Walter
    • , K Schnell
    •  & S Erk

    These authors contributed equally to this work.

Affiliations

  1. Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Division of Mind and Brain Research, Charite'—Universitaetsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany

    • H Walter
    •  & S Erk
  2. Division of Medical Psychology, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany

    • H Walter
    • , S Erk
    • , C Arnold
    •  & M M Schmitgen
  3. Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany

    • H Walter
  4. Department of General Psychiatry, Heidelberg University Hospital, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany

    • K Schnell
  5. Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Central Institute of Mental Health, University of Heidelberg, Mannheim, Germany

    • P Kirsch
    • , C Esslinger
    • , D Mier
    •  & A Meyer-Lindenberg
  6. Department of Genetic Epidemiology in Psychiatry, Central Institute of Mental Health, University of Heidelberg, Mannheim, Germany

    • M Rietschel
    •  & S H Witt
  7. Department of Genomics, Life and Brain Center and Institute of Human Genetics, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany

    • M M Noethen
    •  & S Cichon

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/mp.2011.25

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