Uhlmann, L., Pazen, M., van Kemenade, B.M., Kircher, T., & Straube, B. (accepted). Neural correlates of self-other distinction in patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders: The roles of agency and hand identity. Schizophrenia Bulleting IF: 7.958
Schizophrenia spectrum disorders (SSD) are characterized by disturbed self-other distinction. While previous studies associate abnormalities in the sense of agency (i.e., the feeling that an action and the resulting sensory consequences are produced by oneself) with disturbed processing in the angular gyrus, passive movement conditions to isolate contributions of motor predictions are lacking. Furthermore, the role of body identity (i.e., visual features determining whether a seen body part belongs to oneself) in self-other distinction is unclear. In the current study, fMRI was used to assess the roles of agency and hand identity in self-other distinction. Patients with SSD and healthy controls (HC) performed active and passive hand movements (agency manipulation) while seeing their own or someone else’s hand moving in accordance with their action (hand identity manipulation). Variable delays (0-417 ms) between movement and feedback had to be detected. Our results showed overall lower delay detection performances during active than passive conditions; however, these differences were reduced in patients when the own hand was displayed. On a neural level, we found that in HC, activation in the right angular gyrus was modulated by agency and hand identity. In contrast, agency and hand identity revealed no overlapping activation in patients, due to reduced effects of agency. Importantly, HC and SSD patients shared similar effects of hand identity in the angular gyrus. Our results suggest that disturbances of self-other distinction in SSD are particularly driven by agency, while self-other distinction based on hand identity might be spared.