Reduced synchronized brain activity in schizophrenia during viewing of comedy movies

Pei Chi Tu, Tung Ping Su, Wei Chen Lin, Wan Chen Chang, Ya Mei Bai, Cheng Ta Li, Fa Hsuan Lin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
65 Downloads (Pure)


Previous evaluation of brain function in schizophrenia has focused on standard experimental tasks, with cerebral response to natural stimuli less clear. This study employed inter-subject correlation (ISC) analysis to investigate the neural basis of humor processing during free viewing of comedy movies in patients with schizophrenia. We recruited 29 patients diagnosed with schizophrenia and 29 healthy, age- and sex-matched controls. Each participant underwent fMRI scanning during two viewings of three comedy movie clips. The ISC map from each participant pair within each population group and each movie viewing was separately derived. The significance of ISC within a group and between two groups were assessed by bootstrapping. The ISC map from each patient pair were also correlated with the product of Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) rating between the same participant pair in schizophrenia patients. Schizophrenia patients showed significant ISC in bilateral lateraloccipital, bilateral superior frontal, left supramarginal, and right lateralorbiofrontal cortices. Compared with the controls, the schizophrenia group exhibited significantly lower ISC in the left superior temporal sulcus, bilateral supramarginal, and bilateral inferiorparietal cortices. Higher clinical severity (higher total PANSS rating) was associated with lower ISC in the middle frontal and middle temporal regions, and also higher ISC in the visual cortex, inferior temporal gyrus, and anterior cingulate. The findings indicated that patients with schizophrenia are characterized by lower ISC in a frontal parietal network while viewing comedy film clips, which implicated a deficit in the cognitive component of humor processing. The lower synchronization in parts of the frontal parietal network also correlated with symptom severity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12738
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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