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Am J Psychiatry. 2001 Jun;158(6):938-43.

A functional magnetic resonance imaging study of auditory mismatch in schizophrenia.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.



Previous research has noted functional and structural temporal lobe abnormalities in schizophrenia that relate to symptoms such as auditory hallucinations and thought disorder. The goal of the study was to determine whether the functional abnormalities are present in schizophrenia at early stages of auditory processing.


Functional magnetic resonance imaging activity was examined during the presentation of the mismatch stimuli, which are deviant tones embedded in a series of standard tones. The mismatch stimuli are used to elicit the mismatch negativity, an early auditory event-related potential. Ten patients with schizophrenia and 10 comparison subjects were presented the mismatch stimuli condition and a control condition in which only one tone was presented repeatedly.


The superior temporal gyrus showed the most prevalent and consistent activation. The superior temporal gyrus showed less activation in the schizophrenic subjects than in the comparison subjects only during the mismatch stimuli condition.


This result is consistent with those of mismatch negativity event-related potential studies and suggests that early auditory processing is abnormal in chronic schizophrenia.

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