Psychopharmacology  |  Psychopathology  |  Speech Characteristics  |  Electroencephalography  |  Psychiatric Genetics  |  Inflammation  |  Home

Mismatch Negativity in Schizophrenia


Mismatch negativity (MMN) is an auditory event-related potential that provides an index of auditory sensory memory. Deficits in MMN generation have been repeatedly demonstrated in chronic schizophrenia. Their specificity to schizophrenia has not been established.


Mismatch negativity to both duration and frequency deviants was investigated in gender- and age-matched patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder (n = 26), bipolar disorder (n = 16), or major depression (n = 22) and healthy control subjects (n = 25).


Only patients with schizophrenia demonstrated significantly smaller mean MMN than did healthy control subjects. Detailed analyses showed significantly smaller MMN to both duration and frequency deviants in patients with schizophrenia than in healthy control subjects; however, the reduction of frequency MMN in patients with schizophrenia was not significant in the comparison across all groups. Mismatch negativity topography did not differ among groups. No consistent correlations with clinical, psychopathologic, or treatment variables were observed.


Mismatch negativity deficits, and by extension deficits in early cortical auditory information processing, appear to be specific to schizophrenia. Animal and human studies implicate dysfunctional N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor functioning in MMN deficits. Thus MMN deficits may become a useful endophenotype to investigate the genetic underpinnings of schizophrenia, particularly with regard to the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor.


Stassen HH, Bomben G, Propping P: Genetic aspects of the EEG: an investigation into the within-pair similarity of monozygotic and dizygotic twins with a new method of analysis. Electroenceph clin Neurophysiol 1987; 66: 489-501
Stassen HH, Lykken DT, Bomben G: The within-pair similarity of twins reared apart. Eur Arch Psychiatr Neurol Sci 1988; 237: 244-252
Stassen HH, Lykken DT, Propping P, Bomben G: Genetic determination of the human EEG (survey of recent results from twins reared together and apart). Human Genetics 1988; 80: 165-176
Stassen HH, Lykken DT, Propping P: Zwillingsuntersuchungen zur Genetik des normalen Elektroenzephalogramms. In: P. Baumann (ed): Biologische Psychiatrie der Gegenwart, Wien: Springer 1993, 139-144
Kaprio J, Buchsbaum M, Gottesman II, Heath A, Körner J, Kringlen E, McGuffin P, Propping P, Rietschel M, Stassen HH: What can twin studies contribute to the understanding of adult psychopathology? In: T.J. Bouchard jr. and P. Propping: Twins as a tool for behavioral genetics. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons, Dahlem Workshop Reports, Life Sciences Research Report 1993; 53: 287-299
Dünki RM, Schmid GB, Scheidegger P, Stassen HH, Bomben G, Propping P: Reliable computer-assisted classification of the EEG: EEG variants in index cases and their first-degree relatives. Am J Med Genetics B 1996; 67,1: 1-8
Stassen HH, Bomben G, Hell D: Familial brain wave patterns: study of a 12 sib family. Psychiat Genetics 1998; 8: 141-153
Stassen HH, Coppola R. Torrey EF, Gottesman II, Kuny S, Rickler KC, Hell D: EEG differences in monozygotic twins discordant and concordant for schizophrenia. Psychophysiology 1999; 36,1: 109-117
Dünki RM, Schmid GB, Stassen HH: Intraindividual specificity and stability of the human EEG: Linear vs. nonlinear approaches. Meth Inform Med 2000; 39: 78-82
Umbricht D, Koller R, Schmid L, Skrabo A, Grübel C, Huber T, Stassen HH: How specific are deficits in mismatch negativity generation to schizophrenia? Biol Psychiatry 2003; 53: 1120-1131
Stassen HH: EEG and evoked potentials. In: D. Cooper (ed) Nature Encyclopedia of the Human Genome. Nature Publishing Group, London 2003; 3: 266-269
Weisbrod M, Hill H, Sauer H, Niethammer R, Guggenbühl S, Stassen HH: Nongenetic pathologic developments of brain-wave patterns in monozygotic twins discordant and concordant for schizophrenia. Am J Med Genetics B 2004; 125: 1-9
Buckelmüller J, Landolt HP, Stassen HH, Achermann P: Trait-like individual differences in the human sleep EEG. Neuroscience 2006; 138: 351-356
spectral variability

Fig. 4a: Typical variation of spectral intensities as a function of frequency and as observed in a sample of Alpha-EEGs. The variation is estimated from a sample of 32 healthy volunteers, using 4 consecutive epochs of 20-sec length under the experimental condition of quiet wakefulness and plotted as shaded area along the vertical axis. The spectral resolution is 0.25Hz over the frequency range of 0-30Hz.
[ Comments and suggestions to Webmaster ] k454910@bli.uzh.ch
[ Home ]
Impressum  |  Acknowledgements