A preliminary study of the association among metacognition and resting state EEG in schizophrenia

Jenifer L. Vohs, Bethany L. Leonhardt, Michael M. Francis, Daniel Westfall, Josselyn Howell, Amanda R. Bolbecker, Brian F. O’Donnell, William P. Hetrick, Paul H. Lysaker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Metacognition refers to a spectrum of activities that range from the consideration of discrete mental experiences, such as a specific thought or emotion, to the synthesis of discrete perceptions into integrated representations of the self and others as unique agents in the world. Metacognitive deficits have been observed in schizophrenia and linked with a number of behavioral correlates and outcomes. Less is known however about the neural systems associated with such processes. Establishing the link between brain activity and metacognition therefore is an essential next step. Resting state electroencephalography (EEG) provides one possible avenue for investigating this link. EEG studies in schizophrenia suggest that the gamma frequency range may have functional significance and be related to the disturbed information processing often observed in the disorder. In the present investigation, we assessed metacognition among 20 individuals with prolonged schizophrenia using the Metacognition Assessment Scale Abbreviated, who also participated in resting state EEG recording. We hypothesized that gamma activity would be associated with those domains of metacognition that require the most integration to perform, Decentration and Mastery. We then examined the association among gamma power and each metacognitive domain. Additional exploratory analyses were conducted across a spectrum of EEG activity. We found that increased gamma activity at rest was linked with decreased decentration. This suggests that hyperactivity in the gamma range may index disrupted processing and integration, and ultimately the metacognitive processes needed to form complex ideas about oneself and others and to see the world from multiple perspectives. This link provides additional evidence of how the biological roots of schizophrenia may culminate in a disrupted life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-54
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Psychophysiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2016


  • EEG
  • Gamma activity
  • Metacognition
  • Resting state
  • Schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Physiology

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    Vohs, J. L., Leonhardt, B. L., Francis, M. M., Westfall, D., Howell, J., Bolbecker, A. R., O’Donnell, B. F., Hetrick, W. P., & Lysaker, P. H. (2016). A preliminary study of the association among metacognition and resting state EEG in schizophrenia. Journal of Psychophysiology, 30(2), 47-54. https://doi.org/10.1027/0269-8803/a000153