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Schizophr Res. 1999 May 25;37(2):149-63.

Failures of automatic and strategic processing in schizophrenia: comparisons of event-related brain potential and startle blink modification.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine, CA 94305-5550, USA. jford@leland.stanford.edu

Abstract

Noises elicit startle blinks that are inhibited when immediately (approximately 100 ms) preceded by non-startling prepulses, perhaps reflecting automatic sensory gating. Startle blinks are facilitated when preceded by prepulses at longer lead intervals, perhaps reflecting strategic processes. Event-related brain potentials (ERPs) and startle blinks were used to investigate the well-documented prepulse inhibition failure in schizophrenia. Blinks and ERPs were recorded from 15 schizophrenic men and 20 age-matched controls to noises alone and to noises preceded by prepulses at 120 (PP120), 500 (PP500) and 4000 ms (PP4000) lead intervals. Neither blinks nor any of the ERP components elicited by the noise alone differentiated schizophrenics from controls, although responses to noises were modified by prepulses differently in the two groups. With the N1 component of the ERP, patients showed normal inhibition but lacked facilitation, and with P2, patients lacked inhibition, but showed normal facilitation. With reflex blinks and P300, inhibition was seen in both groups, but no facilitation. These results suggest that different neural circuits are involved in blink and cortical reflections of startle modification in schizophrenics and controls, with both automatic and strategic processes being impaired in schizophrenia.

PMID:
10374650
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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