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Schizophr Res. 2007 Dec;97(1-3):128-36. Epub 2007 Oct 22.

The P50 auditory evoked potential in violent and non-violent patients with schizophrenia.

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Subdirección de Investigaciones Clínicas, Instituto Nacional de Psiquiatría Ramón de Fuente, Mexico City, Mexico.



Emotionally driven violence is facilitated by increased arousal. It may be a consequence of an information-processing deficit and the cognitive attributions for the stimuli given by the subject. The aim of this study was to compare the P50 evoked potential responses of violent patients with schizophrenia with non-violent patients with schizophrenia and healthy controls.


Patients were classified into violent and non-violent in accordance to the Overt Aggression Scale. P50 auditory evoked potentials of 32 unmedicated patients with schizophrenia (violent=14, non-violent=18) and 17 healthy controls were recorded during five runs of 30 click pairs.


Healthy controls exhibited a lower S2/S1 ratio when compared to violent (p<0.001) and non-violent (p=0.04) patients. Using a cutoff point of 0.50 for S2/S1 ratio to define abnormal gating a significant proportion of violent patients did not show P50 suppression (71.4%) in comparison to non-violent patients (38.9%) and healthy controls (23.5%) (p=0.02).


Violent behavior in patients with schizophrenia could be associated with a disturbed information sensory gating. Violence in patients with schizophrenia may be facilitated by an increased arousal which may in turn be the result of an information-processing deficit.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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