Psychol Med. 2022 Nov 2:1-9. doi: 10.1017/S003329172200321X. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Abnormal auditory processing of deviant stimuli, as reflected by mismatch negativity (MMN), is often reported in schizophrenia (SCZ). At present, it is still under debate whether this dysfunctional response is specific to the full-blown SCZ diagnosis or rather a marker of psychosis in general. The present study tested MMN in patients with SCZ, bipolar disorder (BD), first episode of psychosis (FEP), and in people at clinical high risk for psychosis (CHR).
METHODS: Source-based MEG activity evoked during a passive auditory oddball task was recorded from 135 patients grouped according to diagnosis (SCZ, BD, FEP, and CHR) and 135 healthy controls also divided into four subgroups, age- and gender-matched with diagnostic subgroups. The magnetic MMN (mMMN) was analyzed as event-related field (ERF), Theta power, and Theta inter-trial phase coherence (ITPC).
RESULTS: The clinical group as a whole showed reduced mMMN ERF amplitude, Theta power, and Theta ITPC, without any statistically significant interaction between diagnosis and mMMN reductions. The mMMN subgroup contrasts showed lower ERF amplitude in all the diagnostic subgroups. In the analysis of Theta frequency, SCZ showed significant power and ITPC reductions, while only indications of diminished ITPC were observed in CHR, but no significant decreases characterized BD and FEP.
CONCLUSIONS: Significant mMMN alterations in people experiencing psychosis, also for diagnoses other than SCZ, suggest that this neurophysiological response may be a feature shared across psychotic disorders. Additionally, reduced Theta ITPC may be associated with risk for psychosis.