Send to

Choose Destination
Schizophr Res. 1994 Aug;13(1):23-34.

Event-related and motor responses to probes in a forewarned reaction time task in schizophrenic patients.

Author information

Department of Psychology, University of Konstanz, Germany.


Surface-negative brain potentials indicate increased excitability of the underlying cortical neural networks. Consequently, deviant patterns of event-related potentials in schizophrenic patients reveal an atypical regulation of cortical excitability. Twelve patients with a chronic schizophrenic disorder and 12 matched control subjects were investigated using a probe paradigm: A contingent negative variation (CNV) was evoked in a forewarned reaction time paradigm. Clicks were presented before, during and after elicitation of the CNV. Click-evoked responses allow one to 'probe' the current brain state, particularly neuronal excitability, which is also reflected by the slow potentials. During the measurements, subjects pressed one button in response to the offset of the visual warning stimulus and a different button in response to the acoustic probes, the latter button press being a behavioral indication of the brain's excitability. In the forewarned reaction time task, patients developed a CNV with a frontal maximum, while the CNV in control subjects was predominantly centro-parietal. This atypical topographical pattern of the CNV may indicate a different spatio-temporal regulation of cortical preparatory processes in schizophrenics. Motor responses were accelerated during negative potential shifts in both patients and controls, with responses being slower overall in patients. In patients, probe-evoked potentials revealed a smaller N100, but a larger P300, than in controls. The covariation of these brain waves with slow potentials, however, turned out to be similar for both groups.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center