SCHIZOPHRENIA RESEARCH, vol.161, pp.237-243, 2015 (SCI-Expanded)
Jumping to conclusions (JTC) is a probabilistic reasoning bias and is thought to contribute to delusion formation. Neurobiological correlates of the JTC bias are not known. We aimed to examine the rostral prefrontal cortex (rPFC) activity with functional near infrared spectroscopy during a modified version of the Beads in a Jar Task (BIJT) in subjects with persecutory delusions (N = 25). In BIJT participants are presented beads either drawn from one of the two jars with opposite probability ratios (PRs) of colored beads and are required to decide from which jar beads are being drawn. We administered the BIJT with 90/10 and 55/45 PRs. Compared to healthy controls (N = 20), patients reached a decision earlier in both conditions. While the medial rPFC regions were more active in the 90/10 condition in controls compared to patients, lateral rPFC activation was higher in the 55/45 condition in patients than controls. Only in the control group, there was a marked decline in the lateral rPFC activation in the 55/45 condition compared to the 90/10 condition. The activity in the lateral rPFC was negatively correlated with the amount of beads drawn in healthy controls but not in subjects with persecutory delusions. Our results suggest that during the BIJT, rPFC does not function as a single unit and rather consists of functional subunits that are organized differently in patients and controls. The failure to deactivate the lateral rPFC may be associated with earlier decisions in subjects with persecutory delusions. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.