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Early Auditory Processing Evoked Potentials (N100) Show a Continuum of Blunting from Clinical High Risk to Psychosis in a Pediatric Sample

By Joseph Gonzalez-Heydrich, Michelle Bosquet Enlow, Eugene D’Angelo, Larry J. Seidman, Sarah Gumlak, April Kim, Kristen A. Woodberry, Ashley Rober, Sahil Tembulkar, Kelsey Graber, Kyle O’Donnell, Hesham M. Hamoda, Kara Kimball, Alexander Rotenberg, Lindsay M. Oberman, Alvaro Pascual-Leone, Matcheri S. Keshavan, and Frank H. Duffy | Schizophrenia Research | November 6, 2015



The N100 is a negative deflection in the surface EEG approximately 100 ms after an auditory signal. It has been shown to be reduced in individuals with schizophrenia and those at clinical high risk (CHR). N100 blunting may index neural network dysfunction underlying psychotic symptoms. This phenomenon has received little attention in pediatric populations.


This cross-sectional study compared the N100 response measured via the average EEG response at the left medial frontal position FC1 to 150 sinusoidal tones in participants ages 5 to 17 years with a CHR syndrome (n = 29), a psychotic disorder (n = 22), or healthy controls (n = 17).


Linear regression analyses that considered potential covariates (age, gender, handedness, family mental health history, medication usage) revealed decreasing N100 amplitude with increasing severity of psychotic symptomatology from healthy to CHR to psychotic level.


Longitudinal assessment of the N100 in CHR children who do and do not develop psychosis will inform whether it predicts transition to psychosis and if its response to treatment predicts symptom change.

Read the entire study here.