Abnormal functional motor lateralization in healthy siblings of patients with schizophrenia

Mario Altamura, Leonardo Fazio, Michela De Salvia, Annamaria Petito, Giuseppe Blasi, Paolo Taurisano, Raffaella Romano, Barbara Gelao, Antonello Bellomo, Alessandro Bertolino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Earlier neuroimaging studies of motor function in schizophrenia have demonstrated reduced functional lateralization in the motor network during motor tasks. Here, we used event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging during a visually guided motor task in 18 clinically unaffected siblings of patients with schizophrenia and 24 matched controls to investigate if abnormal functional lateralization is related to genetic risk for this brain disorder. Whereas activity associated with motor task performance was mainly contralateral with only a marginal ipsilateral component in healthy participants, unaffected siblings had strong bilateral activity with significantly greater response in ipsilateral and contralateral premotor areas as well as in contralateral subcortical motor regions relative to controls. Reduced lateralization in siblings was also identified with a measure of laterality quotient. These findings suggest that abnormal functional lateralization of motor circuitry is related to genetic risk of schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-60
Number of pages7
JournalPsychiatry Research - Neuroimaging
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 30 2012


  • FMRI
  • Functional lateralization
  • Genetic risk
  • Intermediate phenotype
  • Motor activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)


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