Language Processing and Human Voice Perception in Schizophrenia: A Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study

Michihiko Koeda, Hidehiko Takahashi, Noriaki Yahata, Masato Matsuura, Kunihiko Asai, Yoshiro Okubo, Hiroshi Tanaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Neuroimaging studies have demonstrated either reduced left-lateralized activation or reversed language dominance in schizophrenia. These findings of left hemispheric dysfunction could be attributed to language processing tasks, which activate mainly left hemispheric function. Recent functional magnetic resonance imaging studies reported right-lateralized temporal activation by human voice perception, but few studies have investigated activation by human voice in schizophrenia. We aimed to clarify the cerebral function of language processing in schizophrenia patients by considering cerebral activation of human voice perception. Methods: Fourteen right-handed schizophrenia patients and 14 right-handed controls with matched handedness, sex, and education level were scanned by functional magnetic resonance imaging while listening to sentences (SEN), reverse sentences (rSEN), and identifiable non-vocal sounds (SND). Results: Under the SEN-SND and SEN-rSEN contrasts including language processing, patients showed less activation of the left hemisphere than controls in the language-related fronto-tempo-parietal region, hippocampus, thalamus and cingulate gyrus. Under the rSEN-SND contrast including human voice perception, patients showed less activation than controls in the right-lateralized temporal cortices and bilateral posterior cingulate. Conclusions: Our results indicate that schizophrenia patients have impairment of broader bilateral cortical-subcortical regions related to both the semantic network in the left hemisphere and the voice-specific network in the right hemisphere.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)948-957
Number of pages10
JournalBiological Psychiatry
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2006 May 15
Externally publishedYes


  • Language processing
  • functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)
  • human voice perception
  • schizophrenia
  • semantic network
  • voice-specific network

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biological Psychiatry


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