Neural activations during auditory oddball processing discriminating schizophrenia and psychotic bipolar disorder

Lauren E. Ethridge, Jordan P. Hamm, John R. Shapiro, Ann T. Summerfelt, Sarah K. Keedy, Michael C. Stevens, Godfrey Pearlson, Carol A. Tamminga, Nash N. Boutros, John A. Sweeney, Matcheri S. Keshavan, Gunvant Thaker, Brett A. Clementz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Background: Reduced amplitude of the P300 event-related potential in auditory oddball tasks may characterize schizophrenia (SZ) but is also reported in bipolar disorder. Similarity of auditory processing abnormalities between these diagnoses is uncertain, given the frequent combination of both psychotic and nonpsychotic patients in bipolar samples; abnormalities may be restricted to psychosis. In addition, typically only latency and amplitude of brain responses at selected sensors and singular time points are used to characterize neural responses. Comprehensive quantification of brain activations involving both spatiotemporal and time-frequency analyses could better identify unique auditory oddball responses among patients with different psychotic disorders. Methods: Sixty SZ, 60 bipolar I with psychosis (BPP), and 60 healthy subjects (H) were compared on neural responses during an auditory oddball task using multisensor electroencephalography. Principal components analysis was used to reduce multisensor data before evaluating group differences on voltage and frequency of neural responses over time. Results: Linear discriminant analysis revealed five variables that best differentiated groups: 1) late beta activity to standard stimuli; 2) late beta/gamma activity to targets discriminated BPP from other groups; 3) midlatency theta/alpha activity to standards; 4) target-related voltage at the late N2 response discriminated both psychosis groups from H; and 5) target-related voltage during early N2 discriminated BPP from H. Conclusions: Although the P300 significantly differentiated psychotic groups from H, it did not uniquely discriminate groups beyond the above variables. No variable uniquely discriminated SZ, perhaps indicating utility of this task for studying psychosis-associated neurophysiology generally and BPP specifically.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)766-774
Number of pages9
JournalBiological Psychiatry
Issue number9
StatePublished - Nov 1 2012


  • Auditory oddball
  • ERP
  • P300
  • PCA
  • psychosis
  • time-frequency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biological Psychiatry


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