Functional MRI BOLD response to Tower of London performance of first-episode schizophrenia patients using cortical pattern matching

Paul E. Rasser, Patrick Johnston, Jim Lagopoulos, Philip B. Ward, Ulrich Schall, Renate Thienel, Stefan Bender, Arthur W. Toga, Paul M. Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations


Due to its three-dimensional folding pattern, the human neocortex poses a challenge for accurate co-registration of grouped functional brain imaging data. The present study addressed this problem by employing three-dimensional continuum-mechanical image-warping techniques to derive average anatomical representations for co-registration of functional magnetic resonance brain imaging data obtained from 10 male first-episode schizophrenia patients and 10 age-matched male healthy volunteers while they performed a version of the Tower of London task. This novel technique produced an equivalent representation of blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) response across hemispheres, cortical regions, and groups, respectively, when compared to intensity average co-registration, using a deformable Brodmann area atlas as anatomical reference. Somewhat closer association of Brodmann area boundaries with primary visual and auditory areas was evident using the gyral pattern average model. Statistically-thresholded BOLD cluster data confirmed predominantly bilateral prefrontal and parietal, right frontal and dorsolateral prefrontal, and left occipital activation in healthy subjects, while patients' hemispheric dominance pattern was diminished or reversed, particularly decreasing cortical BOLD response with increasing task difficulty in the right superior temporal gyrus. Reduced regional gray matter thickness correlated with reduced left-hemispheric prefrontal/frontal and bilateral parietal BOLD activation in patients. This is the first study demonstrating that reduction of regional gray matter in first-episode schizophrenia patients is associated with impaired brain function when performing the Tower of London task, and supports previous findings of impaired executive attention and working memory in schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)941-951
Number of pages11
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Cortex
  • Cortical pattern matching
  • Deformable Brodmann area atlas
  • First-episode schizophrenia
  • Functional magnetic resonance imaging
  • Planning
  • Structural magnetic resonance imaging
  • Three-dimensional continuum-mechanical image-warping
  • Tower of London


Dive into the research topics of 'Functional MRI BOLD response to Tower of London performance of first-episode schizophrenia patients using cortical pattern matching'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this