Language pathway abnormalities in schizophrenia: A review of fMRI and other imaging studies

Xiaobo Li, Craig A. Branch, Lynn E. DeLisi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

98 Scopus citations


Purpose of review Schizophrenia is a severe mental disorder with substantial genetic vulnerability. This review discusses recent neuroimaging studies reporting on impairment in brain functioning relevant to language processing in individuals with schizophrenia and those who are at a genetic risk for its development. Recent findings Studies have shown that schizophrenia is associated with deficits in language function, as well as structural and functional abnormalities in brain regions that are involved with language perception and processing. Individuals who are at genetic high risk for schizophrenia also have structural and functional deficits in brain pathways for language processing. These studies consistently suggest that the normal pattern of left hemisphere dominance of language processing is significantly disturbed. Summary This review suggests that future studies should examine the underlying mechanism for producing this disturbance in language processing and that prospective studies should be carried out that aim to follow individuals over time to determine whether these anomalies eventually lead to clinical symptoms of schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-139
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Opinion in Psychiatry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2009
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


  • Functional MRI
  • Genetic high risk
  • Language
  • Prodrome
  • Schizophrenia
  • Structural MRI


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