Electrophysiological Analysis of Error Monitoring in Schizophrenia

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Abstract

In this study, the authors sought to determine whether abnormalities exhibited by schizophrenia patients in event-related potentials associated with self-monitoring—the error-related negativity (ERN) and the correct response negativity (CRN)—persist under conditions that maximize ERN amplitude and to examine relationships between the ERN and behavior in schizophrenia. Participants performed a flanker task under 2 contingencies: one encouraging accuracy and another emphasizing speed. Compared with healthy participants, in schizophrenia patients the ERN was reduced in the accuracy condition, and the CRN was enhanced in the speed condition. The amplitude of a later ERP component, the error positivity, did not differ between groups in either task condition. Reduced self-correction and increased accuracy following errors were associated with larger ERNs in both groups. Thus, ERN generation appears to be abnormal in schizophrenia patients even under conditions demonstrated to maximize ERN amplitude; however, functional characteristics of the ERN appear to be intact.

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