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Altered volume and hemispheric asymmetry of the superficial cortical layers in the schizophrenia planum temporale

Authors

  • John F. Smiley,

    1. Program in Cognitive Neuroscience and Schizophrenia, Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research, Orangeburg, NY, USA
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  • Gorazd Rosoklija,

    1. College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA
    2. New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, NY, USA
    3. Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Skopje, Macedonia
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  • Branislav Mancevski,

    1. College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA
    2. New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, NY, USA
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  • J. John Mann,

    1. College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA
    2. New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, NY, USA
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  • Andrew J. Dwork,

    1. College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA
    2. New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, NY, USA
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  • Daniel C. Javitt

    1. Program in Cognitive Neuroscience and Schizophrenia, Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research, Orangeburg, NY, USA
    2. New York University Medical School, New York, NY, USA
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Dr John F. Smiley, as above.
E-mail: smiley@nki.rfmh.org

Abstract

In vivo structural MRI studies in schizophrenia auditory cerebral cortex have reported smaller volumes and, less consistently, have reported altered hemispheric asymmetry of volumes. We used autopsy brains from 19 schizophrenia and 18 nonpsychiatric male subjects to measure the volume asymmetry of the planum temporal (PT). We then used the most recently autopsied 11 schizophrenia and 10 nonpsychiatric brains to measure the widths and fractional volumes of the upper (I–III) and lower (IV–VI) layers. Measurements of whole PT gray matter volumes did not show significant changes in schizophrenia. Nevertheless, laminar volume measurements revealed that the upper layers of the PT comprise a smaller fraction of the total cortex in schizophrenia than in nonpsychiatric brains. Subdivision of the PT showed that this change was especially prominent caudally, beyond Heschl’s gyrus, whereas similar but less pronounced changes were found in the rostral PT and Heschl’s gyrus. Complementary measures of laminar widths showed that the altered fractional volume in the caudal left PT was due mainly to ∼8% thinner upper layers. However, the caudal right PT had a different profile, with thicker lower layers and comparatively unchanged upper layers. Thus, in the present study, laminar measurements provided a more sensitive method for detecting changes than measurement of whole PT volumes. Besides findings in schizophrenia, our cortical width measurements revealed normal hemispheric asymmetries consistent with previous reports. In schizophrenia, the thinner upper layers of the caudal PT suggest disrupted corticocortical processing, possibly affecting the multisensory integration and phonetic processing of this region.

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