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Psychiatry Res. 2008 Dec 15;161(3):259-74. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2008.03.017. Epub 2008 Oct 15.

Reduced auditory evoked potential component N100 in schizophrenia--a critical review.

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  • 1Department of Epileptology, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany.


The role of a reduced N100 (or N1) component of the auditory event related potential as a potential trait marker of schizophrenia is critically discussed in this review. We suggest that the extent of the N100 amplitude reduction in schizophrenia depends on experimental and subject factors, as well as on clinical variables: N100 is more consistently reduced in studies using interstimulus intervals (ISIs) >1 s than in studies using shorter ISIs. An increase of the N100 amplitude by allocation of attention is often lacking in schizophrenia patients. A reduction of the N100 amplitude is nevertheless also observed when such an allocation is not required, proposing that both endogenous and exogenous constituents of the N100 are affected by schizophrenia. N100 is more consistently reduced in medicated than unmedicated patients, but a reduction of the N100 amplitude as a consequence of antipsychotic medication was shown in only two of seven studies. In line with that, the association between the N100 reduction and degree of psychopathology of patients appears to be weak overall. A reduced N100 amplitude is found in first degree relatives of schizophrenia patients, but the risk of developing schizophrenia is not reflected in the N100 amplitude reduction.

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