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Biol Psychiatry. 1998 Sep 15;44(6):438-47.

Low frontal electroencephalographic coherence in neuroleptic-free schizophrenic patients.

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Department of General Psychiatry, University of Vienna, Austria.



Electroencephalographic (EEG) coherence analysis is a noninvasive technique for studying corticocortical associations. As there is evidence for a dysfunction of the prefrontal dorsolateral cortex in schizophrenia, we hypothesized to find lower frontal EEG coherence in schizophrenia.


EEG amplitude and coherence analysis was performed in 16 antipsychotic-free schizophrenic patients and 16 healthy controls. EEG recordings were done with 19 gold-plated electrodes placed according to the International 10/20 system against averaged signals from both earlobes. Local coherence was computed for 22 adjacent electrode pairs within the hemispheres and interhemispheric coherence for eight corresponding electrode pairs of both hemispheres in the delta, theta, alpha, and beta-I band.


Amplitude and interhemispheric coherence analysis revealed no differences. Local EEG coherence was significantly lower in schizophrenic patients for Fpl-F7 in the delta (p = .001) and the theta band (p = .002), and at F7-F3 in the alpha band (p = .002). In the delta band coherence of Fpl-F7 was inversely correlated to the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale positive symptoms subscore (R = -.74, p = .014).


Assuming that EEG coherence can be used to index functional coupling between brain areas under the electrodes, the low EEG coherence in Fpl-F7 and F7-F3 in schizophrenic patients might reflect impaired information processing in the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex.

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