Sumich A, Kumari V, Gordon E, Tunstall N, Brammer M
Cortex 2008 Nov-Dec;44(10):1342-52
Separate dimensions of schizotypy have been differentially associated with electrophysiological measures of brain function, and further shown to be modified by sex/gender. We investigated event-related potential (ERP) correlates of two subdimensions of positive schizotypy, paranormal ideation (PI) and unusual experiences (UEs). Seventy-two individuals with no psychiatric diagnosis (men=36) completed self-report measures of UE and PI and performed an auditory oddball task. Average scores for N100, N200 and P300 amplitudes were calculated for left and right anterior, central and posterior electrode sites. Multiple linear regression was used to examine the relationships between the measures of schizotypy and ERPs across the entire sample, as well as separately according to sex. PI was inversely associated with P300 amplitude at left-central sites across the entire sample, and at right-anterior electrodes in women only. Right-anterior P300 and right-posterior N100 amplitudes were negatively associated with UE in women only. Across the entire sample, UE was negatively associated with left-central N100 amplitude, and positively associated with left-anterior N200 amplitude. These results provide support from electrophysiological measures for the fractionation of the positive dimension of schizotypy into subdimensions of PI and UE, and lend indirect support to dimensional or quasidimensional conceptions of psychosis. More specifically, they suggest that PI may be associated with alteration in contextual updating processes, and that UE may reflect altered sensory/early-attention (N100) mechanisms. The sex differences observed are consistent with those previously observed in individuals with schizophrenia.