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Neurosci Res. 2011 Nov;71(3):235-43. doi: 10.1016/j.neures.2011.07.1819. Epub 2011 Jul 27.

Decreased α event-related synchronization in the left posterior temporal cortex in schizophrenia: a magnetoencephalography-beamformer study.

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Department of Psychiatry, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, D3, 2-2 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka, 565-0871, Japan.


Alpha rhythm is one of the most prominent electromagnetic changes in the brain, and electroencephalography (EEG) alpha reactivity disturbance may sometimes represent an early sign of cerebral dysfunction. Although magnetoencephalography (MEG) has a better spatial resolution than EEG, it has not extensively been used to explore alpha-power change deficits in schizophrenia as a possible neurophysiological marker of the disease. The purpose of this study was to use MEG to identify abnormalities in alpha synchronization induced by eye-closing in schizophrenia patients compared to healthy controls, and to investigate whether alpha reactivity deficits correlate with clinical features of the disorder. MEG data were recorded in 22 schizophrenia patients and 20 age- and gender-matched controls during eyes-open/eyes-closed resting states. Cortical sources of event-related synchronization (ERS) were estimated using multiple source beamformer, and BrainVoyager was used for statistic group analysis. A significant decrease in ERS in the upper alpha band (10-13 Hz) was found in the left posterior temporal region in schizophrenia patients relative to controls, and this activity showed correlation with visual memory scores. This upper alpha ERS deficit may indicate left temporal dysfunction and visual-information processing impairment in schizophrenia, and upon further confirmation it might represent a neurophysiological state marker of the disorder.

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