Intervention-specific patterns of cortical function plasticity during auditory encoding in people with schizophrenia

Corby L. Dale, Ethan G. Brown, Alexander B. Herman, Leighton B.N. Hinkley, Karuna Subramaniam, Melissa Fisher, Sophia Vinogradov, Srikantan S. Nagarajan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Schizophrenia is a neurocognitive illness characterized by behavioral and neural impairments in both early auditory processing and higher order verbal working memory. Previously we have shown intervention-specific cognitive performance improvements with computerized, targeted training of auditory processing (AT) when compared to a computer games (CG) control intervention that emphasized visual processing. To investigate spatiotemporal changes in patterns of neural activity specific to the AT intervention, the current study used magnetoencephalography (MEG) imaging to derive induced high gamma band oscillations (HGO) during auditory encoding, before and after 50 h (∼10 weeks) of exposure to either the AT or CG intervention. During stimulus encoding, AT intervention-specific changes in high gamma activity occurred in left middle frontal and left middle-superior temporal cortices. In contrast, CG intervention-specific changes were observed in right medial frontal and supramarginal gyri during stimulus encoding, and in bilateral temporal cortices during response preparation. These data reveal that, in schizophrenia, intensive exposure to either training of auditory processing or exposure to visuospatial activities produces significant but complementary patterns of cortical function plasticity within a distributed fronto-temporal network. These results underscore the importance of delineating the specific neuroplastic effects of targeted behavioral interventions to ensure desired neurophysiological changes and avoid unintended consequences on neural system functioning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)241-249
Number of pages9
JournalSchizophrenia Research
StatePublished - Jan 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The work described in this manuscript was supported by National Institutes of Health R01DC004855 (SSN), R01DC010145 (SSN), R21NS076171 (SV) R01MH068725 (SV), the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Medical Fellows program (EGB) , and by the San Francisco Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center (SV).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 The Authors


  • Cognitive training
  • Linguistic processing
  • Magnetoencephalography
  • Neuroplasticity


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