Audiovisual integration of speech is disturbed in schizophrenia: An fMRI study

G. R. Szycik*, T. F. Münte, W. Dillo, B. Mohammadi, A. Samii, H. M. Emrich, D. E. Dietrich

*Corresponding author for this work
45 Citations (Scopus)


Speech perception is an essential part of social interaction. Visual information (lip movements, facial expression) may supplement auditory information in particular under inadvertent listening situations. Schizophrenia patients have been shown to have a deficit in integrating articulatory motions with the auditory speech input. The goal of this study was to investigate the neural basis of this deficit in audiovisual speech processing in schizophrenia patients by using fMRI. Disyllabic nouns were presented in congruent (audio matches visual information) and incongruent conditions in a slow event related fMRI design. Schizophrenia patients (n = 15) were compared to age and gender matched control participants. The statistical examination was conducted by analysis of variance with main factors: audiovisual congruency and group membership. The patients' brain activity differed from the control group as evidenced by congruency by group interaction effects. The pertinent brain sites were located predominantly in the right hemisphere and comprised the pars opercularis, middle frontal sulcus, and superior temporal gyrus. In addition, we observed interactions bilaterally in the fusiform gyrus and the nucleus accumbens. We suggest that schizophrenia patients' deficits in audiovisual integration during speech perception are due to a dysfunction of the speech motor system in the right hemisphere. Furthermore the results can be also seen as a reflection of reduced lateralization of language functions to the left hemisphere in schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Issue number1-3
Pages (from-to)111-118
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 01.05.2009

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)


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