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November 1979

Temporal Variability of Somatosensory, Visual, and Auditory Evoked Potentials in Schizophrenia

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, Temple University, and the Eastern Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute, Philadelphia.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1979;36(12):1341-1351. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1979.01780120071009

• Previous findings in chronic schizophrenics showed greater than normal somatosensory evoked potential (SEP) waveshape stability before 100-ms after stimulus and reduced stability after 100 ms. To confirm and extend these findings, EPs to left and right median nerve stimuli, visual pattern flashes (VEPs), and auditory clicks (AEPs) were recorded from 14 locations in 86 patients and 33 controls. Three sets of analyses compared different patient groups with age- and sex-matched controls. The results confirmed previous SEP findings in chronic schizophrenics; no other subject group displayed the combination of high early and low late SEP stability. The SEP results did not generalize to VEPs and AEPs. Lead location was important for group differences. In overt schizophrenics, late epoch stability was low in all EPs. The results suggest certain limitations to the hypothesis of an impaired subcortical filtering mechanism in chronic schizophrenics.

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