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Neural Circuitry of Salience and Reward Processing in Psychosis.

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Murray, Graham K 
Knolle, Franziska 


The processing of salient and rewarding stimuli is integral to engaging our attention, stimulating anticipation for future events, and driving goal-directed behaviors. Widespread impairments in these processes are observed in psychosis, which may be associated with worse functional outcomes or mechanistically linked to the development of symptoms. Here, we summarize the current knowledge of behavioral and functional neuroimaging in salience, prediction error, and reward. Although each is a specific process, they are situated in multiple feedback and feedforward systems integral to decision making and cognition more generally. We argue that the origin of salience and reward processing dysfunctions may be centered in the subcortex during the earliest stages of psychosis, with cortical abnormalities being initially more spared but becoming more prominent in established psychotic illness/schizophrenia. The neural circuits underpinning salience and reward processing may provide targets for delaying or preventing progressive behavioral and neurobiological decline.


Funder: Horizon 2020


Dopamine, Nucleus accumbens, Prediction error, Psychosis, Punishment, Reward, Salience, Schizophrenia

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Biol Psychiatry Glob Open Sci

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Elsevier BV
Horizon 2020 Framework Programme (754462)
National Health and Medical Research Council (APP1139960)
JPK received funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) [Grant number APP1139960] and the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation [2019 Maltz Prize]. FK received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 [Grant number 754462].