Kiang M, Prugh J, Kutas M
Int J Psychophysiol 2010 Feb;75(2):119-26
To examine whether schizotypal personality is associated with the degree to which concepts activate each other in semantic memory, event-related brain potentials (ERPs) were recorded during a delayed lexical decision task from healthy volunteers rated for schizotypy. Each target word was directly, indirectly, or not at all related to a prime word preceding it at a 300- or 750-ms stimulus-onset asynchrony (SOA). Overall, N400 amplitudes were largest for unrelated targets, smallest for directly related targets, and intermediate for indirectly related targets. Higher total Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire (SPQ) scores correlated with smaller N400 indirect priming effects (i.e., smaller N400 amplitude differences between unrelated and indirectly related targets) at both SOAs. In addition, schizotypal subscale scores were differentially associated with N400 effects. Higher SPQ Cognitive-Perceptual scores correlated with smaller N400 direct priming effects (smaller N400 amplitude differences between unrelated and directly related targets) at both SOAs, and with smaller N400 indirect priming effects at the shorter SOA. These correlations are consistent with the hypothesis that decreased use of meaningful context to activate related concepts in general, and/or to inhibit unrelated concepts, may play some role in the development of unusual beliefs.