Event-related potential abnormalities in schizophrenia: A failure to "gate in" salient information?

Colleen A. Brenner, Paul D. Kieffaber, Brett A. Clementz, Jason K. Johannesen, Anantha Shekhar, Brian F. O'Donnell, William P. Hetrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

72 Scopus citations


Sensory gating refers to the central nervous system's ability to filter sensory inputs, and can be measured by comparing the suppression of event-related brain potential (ERP) amplitudes in a paired auditory stimulus procedure. Poor gating scores in schizophrenia may be caused by abnormal responses to the first (S1), the second (S2) or both of the paired stimuli. However, since S1 and S2 responses may index separate psychological phenomenon, corresponding to the ability to "gate in" and "gate out" sensory stimuli respectively, the precise mechanism affected in schizophrenia remains unclear. To examine the extent to which saliency processing abnormalities may contribute to S1 response deficits, standard and rare (15% probability) paired stimuli were presented to 21 participants with schizophrenia and 22 healthy controls. P50 and N100 ERP amplitude as well as low, beta and gamma frequency power were measured to examine the time course and relative contributions of oscillatory activity affecting auditory processing in schizophrenia. In this study, schizophrenia patients exhibited less evoked beta 1 power (12-20 Hz) in response to salient stimuli at S1, and lower N100 amplitude in response to all S1 stimuli. No group differences were found in the low, beta 2 (20-30 Hz), or gamma frequency ranges. These findings suggest aberrant sensory processing during stages of stimulus evaluation and saliency detection in schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)332-338
Number of pages7
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2009


  • ERP
  • P50
  • Power
  • Salience
  • Schizophrenia
  • Sensory gating

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

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