Sensorimotor gating, orienting and social perception in schizophrenia

Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Science, Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, United States.
Schizophrenia Research (Impact Factor: 3.92). 04/2005; 73(2-3):319-25. DOI: 10.1016/j.schres.2004.07.013
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Basic neurocognition and social cognition appear to influence the social impairments of persons with schizophrenia. This study examined relationships between two very basic automatic processes (i.e., sensorimotor gating and orienting) and social perception in schizophrenic patients. Thirty outpatients with schizophrenia completed psychophysiological measures of sensorimotor gating (prepulse inhibition, PPI), orienting (prepulse facilitation, PPF), and social perception (the Half Profile of Nonverbal Sensitivity, Half PONS). A median split was used to divide patients into poor and good gaters and poor and good orienters. Analyses revealed that patients with good PPI scored significantly higher on the Half PONS than patients with poor PPI. PPI showed a significant correlation (r=-0.54) with Half PONS performance, indicating that schizophrenia patients who were better able to gate out competing stimuli (i.e., less startle) were also better at detecting relevant social cues. Orienting (PPF) and social perception were not related. This study is the first to our knowledge to demonstrate an association between sensorimotor gating and social perception. The findings are consistent with other studies that have demonstrated relationships between basic neurocognition and social cognition. By showing a link between sensorimotor gating and social perception, this study supports social cognition's potential role as a mediator of the relationship between neurocognition and social functioning in schizophrenia.

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    • "Third, we assessed the variability in these findings across the 5 sites, and attempted to identify factors contributing to this variability. Fourth, we tested for significant relationships between PPI and specific neurocognitive measures – including measures of working memory – previously detected in single-site studies of HCS and SZ patients (Bitsios and Giakoumaki, 2005; Greenwood et al., 2012; Jurado-Barba et al., 2011; Light et al., 2007, 2012; Rabin et al., 2009; Wynn et al., 2005). "
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    ABSTRACT: Startle inhibition by weak prepulses (PPI) is studied to understand the biology of information processing in schizophrenia patients and healthy comparison subjects (HCS). The Consortium on the Genetics of Schizophrenia (COGS) identified associations between PPI and single nucleotide polymorphisms in schizophrenia probands and unaffected relatives, and linkage analyses extended evidence for the genetics of PPI deficits in schizophrenia in the COGS-1 family study. These findings are being extended in a 5-site "COGS-2" study of 1800 patients and 1200 unrelated HCS to facilitate genetic analyses. We describe a planned interim analysis of COGS-2 PPI data. Eyeblink startle was measured in carefully screened HCS and schizophrenia patients (n=1402). Planned analyses of PPI (60ms intervals) assessed effects of diagnosis, sex and test site, PPI-modifying effects of medications and smoking, and relationships between PPI and neurocognitive measures. 884 subjects met strict inclusion criteria. ANOVA of PPI revealed significant effects of diagnosis (p=0.0005) and sex (p<0.002), and a significant diagnosis×test site interaction. HCS>schizophrenia PPI differences were greatest among patients not taking 2nd generation antipsychotics, and were independent of smoking status. Modest but significant relationships were detected between PPI and performance in specific neurocognitive measures. The COGS-2 multi-site study detects schizophrenia-related PPI deficits reported in single-site studies, including patterns related to diagnosis, prepulse interval, sex, medication and other neurocognitive measures. Site differences were detected and explored. The target COGS-2 schizophrenia "endophenotype" of reduced PPI should prove valuable for identifying and confirming schizophrenia risk genes in future analyses.
    Schizophrenia Research 01/2014; 152(2-3). DOI:10.1016/j.schres.2013.12.004 · 3.92 Impact Factor
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    • "Numerous studies have provided evidence that PPI deficits in patients with schizophrenia are improved by antipsychotics,24,37,38,40,42,59-67) in particular atypical antipsychotics, which appear to have a close association with PPI improvement in schizophrenia.24,42,59-61,63,64,66,68-70) Although PPI has been reported in association with positive symptoms65,71) and negative symptoms,71,72) thought disorders73) and social perception74) of schizophrenia, most studies do not support a link between PPI and psychiatric symptoms.24,63,70,75) However, this might be explained by the medication status of the patients, which is known to affect the relationship of psychiatric symptoms with PPI in schizophrenia.76) "
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    ABSTRACT: Prepulse inhibition (PPI) is considered to be one of the most promising neurophysiological indexes for translational research in psychiatry. Impairment of PPI has been reported in several psychiatric diseases, particularly schizophrenia, where PPI is considered a candidate intermediate phenotype (endophenotype) of the disease. Recent findings from a variety of research areas have provided important evidence regarding PPI impairment. Human brain imaging studies have demonstrated the involvement of the striatum, hippocampus, thalamus and frontal and parietal cortical regions in PPI. In addition, several genetic polymorphisms, including variations in the genes coding for Catechol O-methyltransferase, Neuregulin 1, nuclear factor kappa-B subunit 3 and serotonin-2A receptor were related to PPI; and these findings support PPI as a polygenetic trait that involves several neurotransmitter pathways. Early psychosis studies suggest that PPI disruption is present before the onset of psychosis. Also, discrepancy of PPI impairment between children and adults can be found in other psychiatric diseases, such as autistic spectrum disorders and posttraumatic stress disorder, and comprehensive investigation of startle response might contribute to understand the impairment of the neural circuitry in psychiatric diseases. Finally, recent studies with both Asian and Caucasian subjects indicate that patients with schizophrenia exhibit impaired PPI, and impaired sensorimotor gating might be a global common psychophysiological feature of schizophrenia. In conclusion, studies of PPI have successfully contributed to a better understanding of the fundamental neural mechanisms underlying sensorimotor gating and will certainly be most valuable in devising future approaches that aim to investigate the complex pathogenesis of psychiatric diseases.
    Clinical Psychopharmacology and Neuroscience 12/2011; 9(3):102-10. DOI:10.9758/cpn.2011.9.3.102
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    • "These symptoms are associated with the failure in the ability to fi lter irrelevant information (Williams et al. 2010). Using the paradigm above (i.e., PPI), Wynn et al. (2005) showed that schizophrenia patients consistently reduced prepulse inhibition in comparison to normal controls, suggesting dysfunction in their basic sensorimotor gating processes. Other studies found that patients with schizophrenia exhibit defi cient inhibitory processing relative to healthy individuals (de Wilde et al. 2007; Patterson et al. 2008). "
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    ABSTRACT: Recent evidence is reviewed to examine relationships among sensorimotor and cognitive aspects in some important psychiatry disorders. This study reviews the theoretical models in the context of sensorimotor integration and the abnormalities reported in the most common psychiatric disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease, autism spectrum disorder and squizophrenia. The bibliographical search used Pubmed/Medline, ISI Web of Knowledge, Cochrane data base and Scielo databases. The terms chosen for the search were: Alzheimer's disease, AD, autism spectrum disorder, and Squizophrenia in combination with sensorimotor integration. Fifty articles published in English and were selected conducted from 1989 up to 2010. We found that the sensorimotor integration process plays a relevant role in elementary mechanisms involved in occurrence of abnormalities in most common psychiatric disorders, participating in the acquisition of abilities that have as critical factor the coupling of different sensory data which will constitute the basis of elaboration of consciously goal-directed motor outputs. Whether these disorders are associated with an abnormal peripheral sensory input or defective central processing is still unclear, but some studies support a central mechanism. Sensorimotor integration seems to play a significant role in the disturbances of motor control, like deficits in the feedforward mechanism, typically seen in AD, autistic and squizophrenic patients.
    The World Journal of Biological Psychiatry 03/2011; 12(8):560-73. DOI:10.3109/15622975.2010.551405 · 4.18 Impact Factor
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