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Am J Psychiatry. 1998 Sep;155(9):1281-4.

Auditory mismatch negativity in schizophrenia: topographic evaluation with a high-density recording montage.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry at the Clinical Neuroscience Division, Harvard Medical School, Brockton VA Medical Center, MA 02401, USA.



The mismatch negativity, a negative component in the auditory event-related potential, is thought to index automatic processes involved in sensory or echoic memory. The authors' goal in this study was to examine the topography of auditory mismatch negativity in schizophrenia with a high-density, 64-channel recording montage.


Mismatch negativity topography was evaluated in 23 right-handed male patients with schizophrenia who were receiving medication and in 23 nonschizophrenic comparison subjects who were matched in age, handedness, and parental socioeconomic status. The Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale was used to measure psychiatric symptoms.


Mismatch negativity amplitude was reduced in the patients with schizophrenia. They showed a greater left-less-than-right asymmetry than comparison subjects at homotopic electrode pairs near the parietotemporal junction. There were correlations between mismatch negativity amplitude and hallucinations at left frontal electrodes and between mismatch negativity amplitude and passive-apathetic social withdrawal at left and right frontal electrodes.


Mismatch negativity was reduced in schizophrenia, especially in the left hemisphere. This finding is consistent with abnormalities of primary or adjacent auditory cortex involved in auditory sensory or echoic memory.

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