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Sluggishness of Early-Stage Face Processing (N170) Is Correlated with Negative and General Psychiatric Symptoms in Schizophrenia.


ABSTRACT: 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.

SUBMITTER: Zheng Y 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC5124944 | BioStudies | 2016-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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