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Cardiovascular phase relationships to the cortical event-related potential of schizophrenic, depressed, and normal subjects.


Cardiovascular phase, especially diastole, influences attention and the event-related potential (ERP) of the right hemisphere of the brain. Depression and schizophrenia are characterized by attentional deficits, unique lateralization of brain function, and deviant phase relationships of biological oscillators. In the present study, the ERP was recorded during stimulation triggered by diastole and systole in control (n = 16), depressed (n = 16), and schizophrenic (n = 9) subjects. Fifty tones were presented and subjects were instructed to count them silently. Previous findings were supported of delayed latencies and increased amplitude in depressed patients and decreased amplitudes and delayed latencies in schizophrenics. An exaggerated effect of diastole on the ERP in the right hemisphere was observed in depressed patients, however, no cardiovascular effect on the ERP was apparent in schizophrenic patients. Results suggested that heart/brain networks are tightly coupled in normal controls, perhaps "overdriven" in depressed patients, and uncoupled in schizophrenics.

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