Pathway and hemispheric differences in the event-related potential (ERP) to monaural stimulation: A comparison of schizophrenic patients with normal controls
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Previous research has established the stability of the contralateral dominance effect of the auditory temporal N120 peak amplitude. The purpose of this experiment was to examine event-related potential (ERP) asymmetries in schizophrenia, with particular reference to this contralateral dominance phenomenon. Ten unmedicated schizophrenic patients and ten controls heard a series of monaural tones, with no task requirements, while EEG was recorded from Cz, Pz, T3, and T4 referred to linked earlobes. Patients were characterized by smaller N120 amplitudes than controls, an effect that was slightly more pronounced at temporal sites. Patients failed to show the normal N120 contralateral dominance effect. Hemisphere asymmetry ratios revealed that 50% of the patients showed ipsilateral dominance in the auditory pathways. Furthermore, the hemisphere asymmetries (whether ipsilaterally or contralaterally dominant) seen in patients were significantly greater than for controls. These data offer a new level of explanation for schizophrenic performance abnormalities in dichotic listening paradigms and an explanation for for the apparent dichotomy in patient performance between exaggerated right ear advantage (REA) and left ear advantage (LEA).
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