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Int J Psychophysiol. 1997 Feb;25(2):155-67.

The postimperative negative variation following ambiguous matching of auditory stimuli.

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Department of Psychology, University of Konstanz, Germany.


Previous studies using the delayed-matching-to-sample paradigm with visual stimuli reliably induced a postimperative negative variation (PINV) in both schizophrenic patients and healthy controls. The PINV was found to be: (a) larger in schizophrenic patients than controls; (b) larger under conditions of ambiguous as compared to clear matching conditions; and (c) larger over right-hemispheric, fronto-temporal regions in controls, while a less asymmetrical distribution with a tendency for left-frontal predominance occurred in schizophrenic patients. The present study examined to what extent the development and scalp distribution of the PINV were modality-specific by applying the delayed-matching-to-sample design using auditory stimuli. Furthermore, the neurophysiological state during anticipatory negativity (CNV) and PINV was examined by presenting acoustic probe stimuli (one per trial on 50% of the trials) during baseline, CNV or PINV interval. Event-related slow and probe-evoked potentials were recorded in 13 patients with a chronic schizophrenic disorder (DSM-III-R) and 13 healthy control Ss from 15 electrode sites including midline and two sagittal rows over each hemisphere. Comparable group differences and effects of ambiguity on PINV amplitudes were found for both modalities, visual and auditory. The auditory stimuli produced a fronto-central distribution of the PINV in both groups. The probe-evoked vertexpotential was smaller in patients compared to controls, but exhibited comparable modulation with the largest amplitude during the CNV in both groups. Results suggest modality-non-specific cognitive determinants of the PINV. However, stimulus modality did affect the scalp distribution of the PINV. Probe-evoked responses point to different functional meaning of negativities prior to (CNV) and following (PINV) task-relevant stimuli.

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