Cognitive impairment and diminished neural responses constitute a biomarker signature of negative symptoms in psychosis

Matthew E. Hudgens-Haney, Brett A. Clementz, Elena I. Ivleva, Matcheri S. Keshavan, Godfrey D. Pearlson, Elliot S. Gershon, Sarah K. Keedy, John A. Sweeney, Florence Gaudoux, Pierre Bunouf, Benoit Canolle, Françoise Tonner, Silvia Gatti-McArthur, Carol A. Tamminga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The treatment of negative symptoms (NS) in psychosis represents an urgent unmet medical need given the significant functional impairment it contributes to psychosis syndromes. The lack of progress in treating NS is impacted by the lack of known pathophysiology or associated quantitative biomarkers, which could provide tools for research. This current analysis investigated potential associations between NS and an extensive battery of behavioral and brain-based biomarkers in 932 psychosis probands from the B-SNIP database. The current analyses examined associations between PANSS-defined NS and (1) cognition, (2) pro-/anti-saccades, (3) evoked and resting-state electroencephalography (EEG), (4) resting-state fMRI, and (5) tractography. Canonical correlation analyses yielded symptom-biomarker constructs separately for each biomarker modality. Biomarker modalities were integrated using canonical discriminant analysis to summarize the symptom-biomarker relationships into a “biomarker signature” for NS. Finally, distinct biomarker profiles for 2 NS domains (“diminished expression” vs “avolition/apathy”) were computed using step-wise linear regression. NS were associated with cognitive impairment, diminished EEG response amplitudes, deviant resting-state activity, and oculomotor abnormalities. While a connection between NS and poor cognition has been established, association to neurophysiology is novel, suggesting directions for future mechanistic studies. Each biomarker modality was related to NS in distinct and complex ways, giving NS a rich, interconnected fingerprint and suggesting that any one biomarker modality may not adequately capture the full spectrum of symptomology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1269-1281
Number of pages13
JournalSchizophrenia bulletin
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020


  • Biotype
  • Bipolar disorder
  • EEG
  • Multivariate statistics
  • Oculomotor
  • Schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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