Patients with schizophrenia show aberrant patterns of basal ganglia activation: Evidence from ALE meta-analysis

Jessica A. Bernard*, Courtney E. Russell, Raeana E. Newberry, James R.M. Goen, Vijay A. Mittal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


The diverse circuits and functional contributions of the basal ganglia, coupled with known differences in dopaminergic function in patients with schizophrenia, suggest they may be an important contributor to the etiology of the hallmark symptoms and cognitive dysfunction experienced by these patients. Using activation-likelihood-estimation meta-analysis of functional imaging research, we investigated differences in activation patterns in the basal ganglia in patients with schizophrenia, relative to healthy controls across task domains. This analysis included 42 functional neuroimaging studies, representing a variety of behavioral domains that have been linked to basal ganglia function in prior work. We provide important new information about the functional activation patterns and functional topography of the basal ganglia for different task domains in healthy controls. Crucially however, we demonstrate that across task domains, patients with schizophrenia show markedly decreased activation in the basal ganglia relative to healthy controls. Our results provide further support for basal ganglia dysfunction in patients with schizophrenia, and the broad dysfunction across task domains may contribute to the symptoms and cognitive deficits associated with schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)450-463
Number of pages14
JournalNeuroImage: Clinical
StatePublished - 2017


  • Basal ganglia
  • Dopamine hypothesis
  • Meta-analysis
  • Neuroimaging
  • Schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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