Cortical thickness in individuals with non-clinical and clinical psychotic symptoms

Remko Van Lutterveld*, Martijn P. Van Den Heuvel, Kelly M.J. Diederen, Antoin D. De Weijer, Marieke J.H. Begemann, Rachel M. Brouwer, Kirstin Daalman, Jan Dirk Blom, René S. Kahn, Iris E. Sommer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Symptoms that are linked to psychosis are also experienced by individuals who are not in need of care. In the present study, cortical thickness was investigated in these individuals. Fifty individuals with non-clinical auditory verbal hallucinations (most of them also experienced other non-clinical psychotic symptoms), 50 patients with a psychotic disorder and auditory verbal hallucinations, and 50 healthy control subjects underwent structural magnetic resonance imaging. Data were analysed using FreeSurfer. Cortical thickness in the pars orbitalis, paracentral lobule, fusiform gyrus and inferior temporal gyrus was lowest in patients, intermediate in the non-clinical hallucinating group, and highest in control subjects. The patients also showed thinning in widespread additional areas compared to the two other groups, whereas both hallucinating groups showed similar levels of thinning in the insula. Ranking the levels of cortical thickness per brain region across groups revealed that for 88% of brain regions, cortical thickness was lowest in patients, intermediate in the non-clinical hallucinating group, and highest in controls. These findings show that individuals with non-clinical psychotic symptoms show a similar but less pronounced pattern of cortical thinning as patients with a psychotic disorder, which is suggestive of a similar, but milder underlying pathophysiology in this group compared to the psychosis group.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2664-2669
Number of pages6
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014

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