Biol Psychol 2015 Feb 17;105:130-7. Epub 2015 Jan 17.
University of California, San Francisco, CA, United States; San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, San Francisco, CA, United States. Electronic address:
Neurophysiological abnormalities in auditory deviance processing, as reflected by the mismatch negativity (MMN), have been observed across the course of schizophrenia. Studies in early schizophrenia patients have typically shown varying degrees of MMN amplitude reduction for different deviant types, suggesting that different auditory deviants are uniquely processed and may be differentially affected by duration of illness. To explore this further, we examined the MMN response to 4 auditory deviants (duration, frequency, duration+frequency "double deviant", and intensity) in 24 schizophrenia-spectrum patients early in the illness (ESZ) and 21 healthy controls. ESZ showed significantly reduced MMN relative to healthy controls for all deviant types (p<0.05), with no significant interaction with deviant type. No correlations with clinical symptoms were present (all ps>0.05). These findings support the conclusion that neurophysiological mechanisms underlying processing of auditory deviants are compromised early in illness, and these deficiencies are not specific to the type of deviant presented.