Background: The Mismatch Negativity (MMN) is an event-related potential (ERP) sensitive to early auditory deviance detection and has been shown to be reduced in schizophrenia patients. Moreover, MMN amplitude reduction to duration deviant tones was found to be related to functional outcomes particularly, to neuropsychological (working memory and verbal domains) and psychosocial measures. While MMN amplitude is thought to be correlated with deficits of early sensory processing, the functional significance of MMN latency remains unclear so far. The present study focused on the investigation of MMN in relation to neuropsychological function in schizophrenia. Method: Forty schizophrenia patients and 16 healthy controls underwent a passive oddball paradigm (2400 binaural tones; 88% standards [1 kHz, 80 db, 80 ms], 11% frequency deviants [1.2 kHz], 11% duration deviants [40 ms]) and a neuropsychological test-battery. Patients were assessed with regard to clinical symptoms. Results: Compared to healthy controls schizophrenia patients showed diminished MMN amplitude and shorter MMN latency to both deviants as well as an impaired neuropsychological test performance. Severity of positive symptoms was related to decreased MMN amplitude to duration deviants. Furthermore, enhanced verbal memory performance was associated with prolonged MMN latency to frequency deviants in patients. Conclusion: The present study corroborates previous results of a diminished MMN amplitude and its association with positive symptoms in schizophrenia patients. Both, the findings of a shorter latency to duration and frequency deviants and the relationship of the latter with verbal memory in patients, emphasize the relevance of the temporal aspect of early auditory discrimination processing in schizophrenia. © 2014 Kärgel et al.
Kärgel, C., Sartory, G., Kariofillis, D., Wiltfang, J., & Müller, B. W. (2014). Mismatch negativity latency and cognitive function in schizophrenia. PLoS ONE, 9(4). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0084536