Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Share this article on:

The relevance of reward pathways for schizophrenia

Ziauddeen, Hisham; Murray, Graham K

Current Opinion in Psychiatry: March 2010 - Volume 23 - Issue 2 - p 91–96
doi: 10.1097/YCO.0b013e328336661b
Schizophrenia: Edited by W. Wolfgang Fleischhacker

Purpose of review There has been a resurgence of interest in the field of reward processing in schizophrenia in recent years, aided by insights from functional neuroimaging. We examine how disturbances in reward-related processes relate to the pathophysiology and symptomatology of this disorder.

Recent findings Behavioural and functional neuroimaging studies in psychosis demonstrate impairments in the representation of reward value and in reward-related learning and a failure to motivate behaviour for incentives. These impairments are linked to abnormal mesocorticolimbic and mesostriatal function.

Summary Abnormalities in reward processing offer insights into the symptomatology of schizophrenia and its underlying neurobiology. Further investigation is required into the specificity of these deficits to particular symptom expression and to what extent they are improved by antipsychotic treatment.

Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge, UK

Correspondence to Dr Graham Murray, Senior Clinical Research Associate and Consultant Psychiatrist, Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge, Box 189, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge CB2 0QQ, UK Tel: +44 1223 764678; e-mail:

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.