A neurophysiological deficit in early visual processing in schizophrenia patients with auditory hallucinations.
ABSTRACT: Existing 67-channel event-related potentials, obtained during recognition and working memory paradigms with words or faces, were used to examine early visual processing in schizophrenia patients prone to auditory hallucinations (AH, n?=?26) or not (NH, n?=?49) and healthy controls (HC, n?=?46). Current source density (CSD) transforms revealed distinct, strongly left- (words) or right-lateralized (faces; N170) inferior-temporal N1 sinks (150?ms) in each group. N1 was quantified by temporal PCA of peak-adjusted CSDs. For words and faces in both paradigms, N1 was substantially reduced in AH compared with NH and HC, who did not differ from each other. The difference in N1 between AH and NH was not due to overall symptom severity or performance accuracy, with both groups showing comparable memory deficits. Our findings extend prior reports of reduced auditory N1 in AH, suggesting a broader early perceptual integration deficit that is not limited to the auditory modality.
Project description:Previous event-related potential studies support sex differences in the N170 response during face and word processing; however, it remains unclear whether N170 categorical adaptation for faces and words is different between women and men. Using an adaptation paradigm, in which an adaptor and subsequent test stimulus are presented during each trial, the present study investigated N170 categorical adaptation for faces and Chinese characters in both women and men. The results demonstrated that the N170 amplitude elicited by test stimuli in within-category condition was lower than in control category condition, and this was observed during both face and Chinese character processing in women and men. In addition, we found that men have greater N170 categorical adaptation for face and word processing than women. There was also a significant correlation between N170 categorical adaptation indices for face and Chinese character processing in men, which did not occur in women. These findings suggest that men and women process repeated faces or words differently.
Project description:Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) show superior performance in processing fine detail, but often exhibit impaired gestalt face perception. The ventral visual stream from the primary visual cortex (V1) to the fusiform gyrus (V4) plays an important role in form (including faces) and color perception. The aim of this study was to investigate how the ventral stream is functionally altered in ASD. Visual evoked potentials were recorded in high-functioning ASD adults (n = 14) and typically developing (TD) adults (n = 14). We used three types of visual stimuli as follows: isoluminant chromatic (red/green, RG) gratings, high-contrast achromatic (black/white, BW) gratings with high spatial frequency (HSF, 5.3 cycles/degree), and face (neutral, happy, and angry faces) stimuli. Compared with TD controls, ASD adults exhibited longer N1 latency for RG, shorter N1 latency for BW, and shorter P1 latency, but prolonged N170 latency, for face stimuli. Moreover, a greater difference in latency between P1 and N170, or between N1 for BW and N170 (i.e., the prolongation of cortico-cortical conduction time between V1 and V4) was observed in ASD adults. These findings indicate that ASD adults have enhanced fine-form (local HSF) processing, but impaired color processing at V1. In addition, they exhibit impaired gestalt face processing due to deficits in integration of multiple local HSF facial information at V4. Thus, altered ventral stream function may contribute to abnormal social processing in ASD.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Adults with bipolar disorder (BD) have cognitive impairments that affect face processing and social cognition. However, it remains unknown whether these deficits in euthymic BD have impaired brain markers of emotional processing.<h4>Methodology/principal findings</h4>We recruited twenty six participants, 13 controls subjects with an equal number of euthymic BD participants. We used an event-related potential (ERP) assessment of a dual valence task (DVT), in which faces (angry and happy), words (pleasant and unpleasant), and face-word simultaneous combinations are presented to test the effects of the stimulus type (face vs word) and valence (positive vs. negative). All participants received clinical, neuropsychological and social cognition evaluations. ERP analysis revealed that both groups showed N170 modulation of stimulus type effects (face > word). BD patients exhibited reduced and enhanced N170 to facial and semantic valence, respectively. The neural source estimation of N170 was a posterior section of the fusiform gyrus (FG), including the face fusiform area (FFA). Neural generators of N170 for faces (FG and FFA) were reduced in BD. In these patients, N170 modulation was associated with social cognition (theory of mind).<h4>Conclusions/significance</h4>This is the first report of euthymic BD exhibiting abnormal N170 emotional discrimination associated with theory of mind impairments.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:Altered social behavior during mood episodes in bipolar disorder often has detrimental and long-lasting interpersonal consequences. Abnormal face processing may play a role in linking brain functions to clinical symptoms and behavior. This study aimed to understand configural face processing in bipolar disorder as a function of basic communicative attributes of the face and mood symptoms using event-related brain potentials (ERPs). METHODS:Forty-two participants with bipolar I disorder (BP) and 43 healthy controls (HC) viewed face stimuli varying in emotion (neutral or fearful), head orientation (forward or deviated), and gaze direction (direct or averted) while ERPs were recorded. Configural face processing was indexed by the N170 wave. RESULTS:BP participants had comparable overall N170 amplitude and peak latency to HC, although timing was more variable in the BP group. Abnormal N170 modulations by communicative face attributes were observed in BP: exaggerated sensitivity to emotion (fearful > neutral) in the left hemisphere, and reduced sensitivity to gaze-head incongruency (where N170 is normally larger in response to faces with incongruent than congruent gaze and head direction) in the right hemisphere. The former was not associated with mood symptoms, suggesting a heightened trait-like sensitivity to negative emotions. The latter was correlated with greater manic symptoms, indicating that an impaired perceptual sensitivity to faces with features signaling incongruent social attention may underlie social deficits observed during mania. CONCLUSIONS:These findings suggest a pathophysiological role of altered configural face processing in the phenomenology of bipolar disorder, and call for further investigations to evaluate its potential as a biomarker and treatment target.
Project description:Auditory hallucinations (AH) are the most frequent positive symptoms in patients with schizophrenia. Hallucinations have been related to emotional processing disturbances, altered functional connectivity and effective connectivity deficits. Previously, we observed that, compared to healthy controls, the limbic network responses of patients with auditory hallucinations differed when the subjects were listening to emotionally charged words. We aimed to compare the synchrony patterns and effective connectivity of task-related networks between schizophrenia patients with and without AH and healthy controls. Schizophrenia patients with AH (n = 27) and without AH (n = 14) were compared with healthy participants (n = 31). We examined functional connectivity by analyzing correlations and cross-correlations among previously detected independent component analysis time courses. Granger causality was used to infer the information flow direction in the brain regions. The results demonstrate that the patterns of cortico-cortical functional synchrony differentiated the patients with AH from the patients without AH and from the healthy participants. Additionally, Granger-causal relationships between the networks clearly differentiated the groups. In the patients with AH, the principal causal source was an occipital-cerebellar component, versus a temporal component in the patients without AH and the healthy controls. These data indicate that an anomalous process of neural connectivity exists when patients with AH process emotional auditory stimuli. Additionally, a central role is suggested for the cerebellum in processing emotional stimuli in patients with persistent AH.
Project description:Higher N170 amplitudes to words and to faces were recently reported for faster readers of German. Since the shallow German orthography allows phonological recoding of single letters, the reported speed advantages might have their origin in especially well-developed visual processing skills of faster readers. In contrast to German, adult readers of Hebrew are forced to process letter chunks up to whole words. This dependence on more complex visual processing might have created ceiling effects for this skill. Therefore, the current study examined whether also in the deep Hebrew orthography visual processing skills as reflected by N170 amplitudes explain reading speed differences. Forty university students, native speakers of Hebrew without reading impairments, accomplished a lexical decision task (i.e., deciding whether a visually presented stimulus represents a real or a pseudo word) and a face decision task (i.e., deciding whether a face was presented complete or with missing facial features) while their electroencephalogram was recorded from 64 scalp positions. In both tasks stronger event related potentials (ERPs) were observed for faster readers in time windows at about 200 ms. Unlike in previous studies, ERP waveforms in relevant time windows did not correspond to N170 scalp topographies. The results support the notion of visual processing ability as an orthography independent marker of reading proficiency, which advances our understanding about regular and impaired reading development.
Project description:Event-related potentials offer evidence for face distinctive neural activity that peaks at about 170 ms following the onset of face stimuli (the N170 effect). We investigated the role of the perceptual mechanism reflected by the N170 effect by comparing the adaptation of the N170 amplitude when target faces were preceded either by identical face images or by different faces relative to when they were preceded by objects. In two experiments, we demonstrate that the N170 is equally adapted by repetition of the same or different faces. Thus, our findings show that the N170 is sensitive to the category rather than the identity of a face. This outcome supports the hypothesis that the N170 effect reflects the activity of a perceptual mechanism which discriminates faces from objects and streams face stimuli to dedicated circuits, specialized in encoding and decoding information about the face.
Project description:The purpose of the study was to determine whether P1-N1-P2 and T-complex morphology reflect spectro-temporal features within spoken words that approximate the natural variation of a speaker and whether waveform morphology is reliable at group and individual levels, necessary for probing auditory deficits. The P1-N1-P2 and T-complex to the syllables /p?t/ and /s?t/ within 70 natural word productions each were examined. EEG was recorded while participants heard nonsense word pairs and performed a syllable identification task to the second word in the pairs. Single trial auditory evoked potentials (AEP) to the first words were analyzed. Results found P1-N1-P2 and T-complex to reflect spectral and temporal feature processing. Also, results identified preliminary benchmarks for single trial response variability for individual subjects for sensory processing between 50 and 600ms. P1-N1-P2 and T-complex, at least at group level, may serve as phenotypic signatures to identify deficits in spectro-temporal feature recognition and to determine area of deficit, the superior temporal plane or lateral superior temporal gyrus.
Project description:Auditory cued fear conditioning is a widely used behavioral paradigm to investigate associative learning and memory formation. During conditioning, an animal learns that a particular auditory stimulus predicts an aversive stimulus, a foot shock. When later confronted again with this conditional auditory stimulus rodents typically respond with a cessation of movement. The purpose of this study was to analyze the effects of auditory fear conditioning on gene expression in the auditory cortex in a number of different paradigms that control for the effect of several behavioral factors. The different paradigms were paired were the sound and the shock are paired so that the mouse associates the tone with the noxious stimulus the shock, sound were only the sound was presented, shock were only the shock was presented, unpaired were the sound and the shock were presented one minute apart so that the mouse cannot form an association between the sound and the shock, context were no sounds or shocks were presented but the mouse was in the behavior chamber and HC were the mouse was taken directly from the cage.
Project description:Patients with schizophrenia consistently exhibit abnormalities in the N170 event-related potential (ERP) component evoked by images of faces. However, the relationship between these face-specific N170 abnormalities in patients with schizophrenia and the clinical characteristics of this disorder has not been elucidated. Here, ERP recordings were conducted for patients with schizophrenia and healthy controls. The amplitude and latency of the N170 component were recorded while participants passively viewed face and non-face (table) images to explore the correlation between face-specific processing and clinical characteristics in schizophrenia. The results provided evidence for a face-specific N170 latency delay in patients with schizophrenia. The N170 latency in patients with schizophrenia was significantly longer than that in healthy controls when images of faces were presented in both upright and inverted orientations. Importantly, the face-related N170 latencies of the left temporo-occipital electrodes (P7 and PO7) were positively correlated with both negative and general psychiatric symptoms in these patients. The N170 amplitudes were weaker in patients than in controls for inverted images of both faces and non-faces (tables), with a left-hemisphere dominance. The face inversion effect (FIE), meaning the difference in N170 amplitude between upright and inverted faces, was absent in patients with schizophrenia, suggesting an abnormality of holistic face processing. Together, these results revealed a marked symptom-relevant neural delay associated with face-specific processing in patients with schizophrenia, providing additional evidence to support the demyelination hypothesis of schizophrenia.