Article

Augmented gamma band auditory steady-state responses: Support for NMDA hypofunction in schizophrenia

Department of Psychology, BioImaging Research Center, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA.
Schizophrenia Research (Impact Factor: 4.43). 04/2012; 138(1):1-7. DOI: 10.1016/j.schres.2012.04.003
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Individuals with schizophrenia (SZ) have deviations in auditory perception perhaps attributable to altered neural oscillatory response properties in thalamo-cortical and/or local cortico-cortical circuits. Previous EEG studies of auditory steady-state responses (aSSRs; a measure of sustained neuronal entrainment to repetitive stimulation) in SZ have indicated attenuated gamma range (≈40 Hz) neural entrainment. Stimuli in most such studies have been relatively brief (500-1000 ms) trains of 1 ms clicks or amplitude modulated pure tones (1000 Hz) with short, fixed interstimulus intervals (200-1000 ms). The current study used extended (1500 ms), more aurally dense broadband stimuli (500-4000 Hz noise; previously demonstrated to elicit larger aSSRs) with longer, variable interstimulus intervals (2700-3300 ms). Dense array EEG (256 sensor) was collected while 17 SZ and 16 healthy subjects passively listed to stimuli modulated at 15 different frequencies spanning beta and gamma ranges (16-44 Hz in 2 Hz steps). Results indicate that SZ have augmented aSSRs that were most extreme in the gamma range. Results also constructively replicate previous findings of attenuated low frequency auditory evoked responses (2-8 Hz) in SZ. These findings (i) highlight differential characteristics of low versus high frequency and induced versus entrained oscillatory auditory responses in both SZ and healthy stimulus processing, (ii) provide support for an NMDA-receptor hypofunction-based pharmacological model of SZ, and (iii) report a novel pattern of aSSR abnormalities suggesting that gamma band neural entrainment deviations among SZ may be more complex than previously supposed, including possibly being substantially influenced by physical stimulus properties.

Download full-text

Full-text

Available from: Jordan P Hamm, Jun 18, 2015
0 Followers
 · 
146 Views
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: When subjected to a phasic input, sensory cortical neurons display a remarkable ability to entrain faithfully to the driving stimuli. The entrainment to rhythmic sound stimuli is often referred to as the auditory steady-state response (ASSR) and can be captured using noninvasive techniques, such as scalp-recorded electroencephalography (EEG). An ASSR to a driving frequency of approximately 40 Hz is particularly interesting in that it shows, in relative terms, maximal power, synchrony, and synaptic activity. Moreover, the 40-Hz ASSR has been consistently found to be abnormal in schizophrenia patients across multiple studies. The nature of the reported abnormality has been less consistent; while most studies report a deficit in entrainment, several studies have reported increased signal power, particularly when there are concurrent positive symptoms, such as auditory hallucinations. However, the neuropharmacological basis for the 40-Hz ASSR, as well as its dysfunction in schizophrenia, has been unclear until recently. On the basis of several recent reports, it is argued that the 40-Hz ASSR represents a specific marker for cortical NMDA transmission. If confirmed, the 40-Hz ASSR may be a simple and easy-to-access pharmacodynamic biomarker for testing the integrity of cortical NMDA neurotransmission that is robustly translational across species. © 2015 New York Academy of Sciences.
    Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 03/2015; 13441(1). DOI:10.1111/nyas.12739 · 4.31 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Gamma-band oscillations (e.g., the early auditory evoked gamma-band response, aeGBR) have been suggested to mediate cognitive and perceptual processes by driving the synchronization of local neuronal populations. Reduced aeGBR is a consistent finding in patients with schizophrenia and high-risk subjects, and has been proposed to represent an endophenotype for the illness. However, it is still unclear whether this reduction represents a deficit in sensory or cognitive processes, or a combination of the two. The present study investigated this question by manipulating the difficulty of an auditory reaction task in patients with first-episode schizophrenia and healthy controls. A 64-channel EEG was recorded in 23 patients with first-episode schizophrenia and 22 healthy controls during two conditions of an auditory reaction task: an easy condition that merely required low-level vigilance, and a difficult condition that placed significant demands on attention and working memory. In contrast to healthy controls, patients failed to increase aeGBR power and phase-locking in the difficult condition. In patients, aeGBR power and phase-locking indices were associated with working memory deficits. The observed results confirm the applicability of aeGBR disturbances as a stable endophenotype of schizophrenia, and suggest a cognitive, rather than sensory, deficit at their origin.
    The World Journal of Biological Psychiatry 03/2015; DOI:10.3109/15622975.2015.1017605 · 4.23 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Neural oscillations have received recently a great deal of interest in schizophrenia research because of the possibility to integrate findings from non-invasive electro/magnetoencephalographical recordings with pre-clinical research, which could potentially lead to the identification of pathophysiological mechanisms and novel treatment targets. In the current paper, we review the potential as well as the challenges of this approach by summarizing findings on alterations in rhythmic activity from both animal models and human data which have implicated dysfunctional neural oscillations in the explanation of cognitive deficits and certain clinical symptoms of schizophrenia. Specifically, we will focus on findings that have examined neural oscillations during 1) perceptual processing, 2) working memory and executive processes and 3) spontaneous activity. The importance of the development of paradigms suitable for human and animal models is discussed as well as the search for mechanistic explanation for oscillatory dysfunctions. © The Author(s) 2015.
    Journal of Psychopharmacology 01/2015; 29(2). DOI:10.1177/0269881114562093 · 2.81 Impact Factor