bio explanations to sz: Neural Correlates

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  • Bio Explanations to Sz: Neural Correlates
    • A neural correlate is when the development of sz is associated with abnormalities in a specific area of the brain
    • Enlarged ventricles: An association between the negative symptoms of sz and enlarged ventricles in damaged areas of the central brain and the PFC have been found.
    • The Ventral striatum is thought to be linked to the anticipation of reward which links with motivation. It would follow that abnormalities of this area of the brain can be linked to avolition.
    • Research to support: Johnstone et al found sz had enlarged ventricles, while non-sz hadn't, supporting the suggestion that enlarged ventricles can be used to explain the development of sz.
    • Weyandt reported enlarged ventricles are associated with negative symptoms only of sz. Enlarged ventricles can not explain all symptoms which weakens the use of neural correlates as a full explanation of sz.
    • Szs who do not respond to medication mainly exhibit enlarged ventricles. It is difficult to establish if enlarged ventricles caused sz symptoms as it may be an effect of it.
    • Research to support: Juckel et al measured activity levels in the ventral striatum in szs and found a negative correlation between activity levels in ventral striatum  and severity of negativr symptoms.
      • Supporting the idea that decreased activity in the ventral striatum is linked with the negative symptoms of sz.
    • Difficult to draw causation: could be abnormalities in the ventral striatum is causing negative symptoms or negative symptoms mean less info passes through the ventral striatum, resulting in reduced activity.

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