Resting state EEG power and coherence abnormalities in bipolar disorder and schizophrenia

Julia W.Y. Kam, Amanda R. Bolbecker, Brian F. O'Donnell, William P. Hetrick, Colleen A. Brenner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


Resting state electroencephalogram (EEG) abnormalities in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder patients suggest alterations in neural oscillatory activity. However, few studies directly compare these anomalies between patient groups, and none have examined EEG coherence. Therefore, this study investigated whether these electrophysiological characteristics differentiate clinical populations from one another, and from non-psychiatric controls. To address this question, resting EEG power and coherence were assessed in 76 bipolar patients (BP), 132 schizophrenia patients (SZ), and 136 non-psychiatric controls (NC). We conducted separate repeated-measures ANOVAs to examine group differences within seven frequency bands across several brain regions. BP showed significantly greater power relative to SZ at higher frequencies including Beta and Gamma across all regions. In terms of intra-hemispheric coherence, while SZ generally exhibited higher coherence at Delta compared to NC and BP, both SZ and BP showed higher coherence at Alpha1 and Alpha2. In contrast, BP and HC showed higher coherence within hemispheres compared to SZ at Beta 1. In terms of inter-hemispheric coherence, SZ displayed higher coherence compared to NC at temporal sites at both Alpha1 and Alpha2. Taken together, BP exhibited increased high frequency power with few disruptions in neural synchronization. In contrast, SZ generally exhibited enhanced synchronization within and across hemispheres. These findings suggest that resting EEG can be a sensitive measure for differentiating between clinical disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1893-1901
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Psychiatric Research
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2013


  • Bipolar disorder
  • EEG
  • Neural synchronization
  • Power
  • Resting state
  • Schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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