Left but not right hemisphere semantic processing abnormalities in language comprehension in subjects with schizotypy traits.Psychiatry Res. 2011 Jan 30; 185(1-2):84-91.PR
Thought and language disorders in schizophrenia and schizotypy are thought to result from hemispheric dysfunction during semantic processing. Left hemisphere (LH) abnormalities are well established, but little is known about right hemisphere (RH) semantic processes. We explored hemispheric processing in 50 healthy volunteers assigned to high (h-SZT) or low schizotypy (l-SZT) group using the Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire (SPQ). Subjects were asked to make semantic judgments on sentence pair ending with a target that was either expected word (EW) or an unexpected word from the same (related violation, RV) or a different category (unrelated violation, URV). Targets were presented in a dichotic manner to the left or right ear. Analyses of reaction times in the l-SZT group showed semantic compatibility effect (URV-EW) in the LH and semantic memory activation effect (RV-URV) as well as semantic compatibility effect in the RH. The h-SZT group showed semantic memory activation but no semantic compatibility effect in the LH, the RH pattern resembling that of the l-SZT group. The magnitude of the LH semantic compatibility effect was inversely correlated with SPQ total scores and SPQ Cognitive-perceptual factor. Thus, RH semantic processes are effective and there is a deficit in LH focused activation in schizotypy.