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Biol Psychiatry. 1990 Feb 15;27(4):400-10.

Visual evoked potential correlates of positive/negative symptoms in schizophrenia.

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  • 1Ohio State University College of Medicine, Columbus 43210-1228.


Previous studies of schizophrenic patients have found evoked potential (EP) correlates of clinical symptomatology, including EP differences between subtypes of schizophrenia. In the current study, 14 medicated male schizophrenics underwent flash visual evoked potentials (VEP) and were clinically rated for positive and negative symptoms. We tested the hypothesis that positive symptoms would be associated with VEP latency reduction and negative symptoms with latency prolongation. Patients were divided into predominantly positive symptom and predominantly negative symptom groups using a combination of positive and negative symptom ratings. Patients with predominantly positive symptoms exhibited reduced latencies when compared with predominantly negative symptom patients. Similarly, significant negative correlations between positive symptom ratings and P200 latency variables were found. Correlations between negative symptom measures and P200 latencies (in the opposite direction) were also noted, but were less significant. These relationships persisted when confounders were statistically controlled for. The results are consistent with previous findings of evoked potential correlates of clinical symptomatology, especially those finding EP latency correlates of psychosis severity and affective blunting. The findings are discussed in relationship to concepts relevant to psychosis, including arousal, sensory gating, and the dopamine hypothesis.

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