Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
PLoS One. 2011;6(10):e25435. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0025435. Epub 2011 Oct 12.

Semantic processing disturbance in patients with schizophrenia: a meta-analysis of the N400 component.

Author information

  • 1Neuropsychology and Applied Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory, Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China.



Theoretically semantic processing can be separated into early automatic semantic activation and late contextualization. Semantic processing deficits have been suggested in patients with schizophrenia, however it is not clear which stage of semantic processing is impaired. We attempted to clarify this issue by conducting a meta-analysis of the N400 component.


Twenty-one studies met the inclusion criteria for the meta-analysis procedure. The Comprehensive Meta-Analysis software package was used to compute pooled effect sizes and homogeneity.


Studies favoring early automatic activation produced a significant effect size of -0.41 for the N400 effect. Studies favoring late contextualization generated a significant effect size of -0.36 for the N400 effect, a significant effect size of -0.52 for N400 for congruent/related target words, and a significant effect size of 0.82 for the N400 peak latency.


These findings suggest the automatic spreading activation process in patients with schizophrenia is very similar for closely related concepts and weakly or remotely related concepts, while late contextualization may be associated with impairments in processing semantically congruent context accompanied by slow processing speed.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Images from this publication.See all images (3)Free text

Figure 1
Figure 2
Figure 3
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk