In this study, investigators will examine the behavioral effects and neurophysiological mechanisms of the pro-social neuropeptide oxytocin in patients with recent-onset schizophrenia. Such research is a necessary first step towards identifying whether intranasal oxytocin administration can serve as an adjunct treatment for social impairments in schizophrenia. Aim 1: To examine the effects of exogenous oxytocin on patterns of neural activation as measured by fMRI during a well-characterized affect-labeling task in patients with recent-onset schizophrenia and healthy comparison subjects. Hypothesis A: Patients will exhibit amygdalar hyperactivity and PNS hypo-activity when passively viewing faces, which will be normalized by administration of oxytocin. Hypothesis B: Patients will exhibit hypo-activity of the vPFC when affectively labeling faces and this hypo-activity will be normalized by oxytocin administration.
Mechanisms and Effects of Oxytocin on Social Cognition in Schizophrenia - fMRI
SchizophreniaOxytocinSocial CognitionFunctional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI)Syntocinon
You can join if…
Open to males ages 18 years to 50 years
SCID-IV confirmed diagnosis of schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder
No changes to medications for the past week
Inclusion Criteria for Healthy Controls:
SCID-IV confirmed no diagnosis of a current Axis I disorder within the last year
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for Patients and Healthy Controls:
Meeting criteria for current substance abuse or dependence or illicit drug use within the last month (nicotine use is acceptable) as determined by a Urine Toxicology Drug Screening
Any illness that affects the nasal passages and impairs the delivery of a nasal spray
Presence of any neurological or significant medical disorder, including medical illnesses that could interfere with physiological recording such as cardiac arrhythmias
A pacemaker, extensive dental work, or any magnetic metal implants and upper body tattoos
A history of seizures
Failure to receive a passing score on the reading test
Additional Exclusion Criteria for Patients and Healthy Controls:
Taking any psychotropic medication or any medication that affects the autonomic or cardiovascular systems.
Schizophrenia or other psychotic disorder in a first degree relative
Failure to receive a passing score on the MOCA
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