Project group: Formal thought disorder and language
Head: Dr. H. Horn, MD
Dr. M. Wirth
Dr. A. Federspiel, PhD
Dr. S. Walther, MD
PD. Dr. T. Müller, MD
Prof. Dr. W. Strik, MD
Formal thought disorder is on of the central symptoms of schizophrenia. It involves the speed, accuracy and goal directedness of thought. Psychopathological symptoms like flight of ideas, poverty of speech, incoherence, clang associations, derailment, loose associations and circumstantiality are summarized under the general term of formal thought disorder.
The project group formal thought disorder and language is interested in the connection between the above mentioned symptoms and pathological function of the language system in patients suffering from schizophrenia. To clarify the connection of language functions to the phenomenon of formal thought disorder, we examine these functions in patients suffering from schizophrenia. More over, we also investigate the language system in healthy volunteers, to give a basis for the pathological findings in formal thought disorder.
We use mainly neuroimaging techniques for the investigation of language functions:
· Evoked potential (EEG) to get precise information about the timing of language processing
· fMRI for spatial localization of language functions and specific dysfunctions
· Arterial spin labeling (ASL) to obtain information about the absolute CBF in language regions
· Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to get information about the connectivity in language regions
· Voxel based morthometry to find specific gray matter atrophy patterns