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Decomposing the constituent oscillatory dynamics underlying mismatch negativity generation in schizophrenia: Distinct relationships to clinical and cognitive functioning


Abnormalities in early auditory information processing (EAIP) contribute to higher-order deficits in cognition and psychosocial functioning in schizophrenia. A passive auditory oddball paradigm is commonly used to evoke event-related potential (ERP) measures of EAIP reflecting auditory sensory registration and deviance detection, including mismatch negativity (MMN) and P3a responses. MMN and P3a have been extensively studied in healthy subjects and neuropsychiatric patient populations and are increasingly used as translational biomarkers in the development of novel therapeutics. Despite widespread use, relatively few studies have examined the constituent oscillatory elements and the extent to which sensory registration and deviance detection represent distinct or intercorrelated processes. This study aimed to determine the factor structure and clinical correlates of these oscillatory measures in schizophrenia patients (n = 706) and healthy comparison subjects (n = 615) who underwent clinical, cognitive, and functional characterization and EEG testing via their participation in the Consortium of Genomics in Schizophrenia (COGS-2) study. Results revealed significant deficits in theta-band (4-7 Hz) evoked power and phase locking in patients. Exploratory factor analyses of both ERP and oscillatory measures revealed two dissociable factors reflecting sensory registration and deviance detection. While each factor shared a significant correlation with social cognition, the deviance detection factor had a unique relationship to multiple cognitive and clinical domains. Results support the continued advancement of functionally relevant oscillatory measures underlying EAIP in the development of precognitive therapeutics.

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