There have been many theories about and computational models of the schizophrenic disease state. Brain imaging techniques have suggested that abnormalities of the thalamus may contribute to the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. Several studies have found the thalamus to be altered in schizophrenia, and the thalamus has connections with other brain structures implicated in the disorder. This paper describes an experiment examining thalamic levels of the metabolite N-acetylaspartate (NAA), taken from schizophrenics and controls using in vivo proton magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging. Automatic relevance determination was performed on neural networks trained on this data, identifying NAA group differences in the pulvinar and mediodorsal nucleus, underscoring the importance of examining thalamic subregions in schizophrenia.
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Manuscript received September 26, 2006; revised May 4, 2007 and July 20, 2007; accepted August 28, 2007. This work was supported in part by a Stanley Foundation Research Award.