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Neural functional correlates of emotional processing in patients with first-episode psychoses: an activation likelihood estimation (ALE) meta-analysis

A. Del Casale, C. Rapinesi, G. D. Kotzalidis, S. Ferracuti, A. Padovano, C. Grassi, G. Sani, P. Girardi, M. Pompili


Background. Early emotional recognition impairment characterises rst-episode psychoses (FEP) and remains stable thereafter. Patients with FEP consistently show brain activation changes during emotional processing in functional neuroimaging studies.
Aim and Methods. To identify and compare cerebral activation correlates of FEP patients and healthy controls (HCs) during emotional task performances, we performed an Activation Likelihood Estimation (ALE) meta-analysis of peer-reviewed functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies.

Results. Five studies included 71 patients with FEP and 75 HCs. Within-group analyses showed that HCs activated during emotional task performance the bilateral inferior parietal lobule (BAs 39 and 40), left inferior frontal gyrus (BAs 9 and 47), right amygdala, left middle frontal gyrus (BA 9), right cingulate gyrus (BA 32), and right middle temporal gyrus (BA 21). FEP activations correlating with emotional tasks included the right cuneus (BA 17) and right angular gyrus (BA 39).

Conclusions. During emotional task performance, FEP patients fail to activate an extensive brain network comprising emotional processing-related areas, including both cortical and subcortical areas.


First episode psychoses; Emotional processing; Right parietal cortex; Left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex; Left cingulate cortex

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