Impaired neural replay of inferred relationships in schizophrenia
Nour MM., Liu Y., Arumuham A., Kurth-Nelson Z., Dolan RJ.
An ability to build structured mental maps of the world underpins our capacity to imagine relationships between objects that extend beyond experience. In rodents, such representations are supported by sequential place cell reactivations during rest, known as replay. Schizophrenia is proposed to reflect a compromise in structured mental representations, with animal models reporting abnormalities in hippocampal replay and associated ripple activity during rest. Here, utilizing magnetoencephalography (MEG), we tasked patients with schizophrenia and control participants to infer unobserved relationships between objects by reorganizing visual experiences containing these objects. During a post-task rest session, controls exhibited fast spontaneous neural reactivation of presented objects that replayed inferred relationships. Replay was coincident with increased ripple power in hippocampus. Patients showed both reduced replay and augmented ripple power relative to controls, convergent with findings in animal models. These abnormalities are linked to impairments in behavioral acquisition and subsequent neural representation of task structure.