Hypofrontality on topographic EEG in schizophrenia

Correlations with neuropsychological and psychopathological parameters
  • Wagner F. Gattaz
  • Susanne Mayer
  • Peter Ziegler
  • Michael Platz
  • Theo Gasser
Original Articles


Topographic EEG was performed in 17 DSM-III-R schizophrenic patients and in 15 sex- and agematched healthy controls. Eleven patients were firstonset (neuroleptic naive) schizophrenics. EEG band power was compared with psychopathology, neuropsychology and neurological soft signs. The EEG was recorded at 14 topographic locations monopolarly and movements of the eye and of the lid were monitored by two bipolar electro-oculogram (EOG) derivations, one vertical and one horizontal. A multivariate correction of EOG artefacts was performed based on regression analysis with respect to EOG channels. Schizophrenic patients showed higher mean and median power in most bands. These differences were most marked in the delta band, in the fast alpha and beta bands, in particular at left frontal sites. Delta power at F7 was by far the best separating variable between schizophrenics and controls in a discriminant analysis. Significant positive correlations were found between the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale scores “Anxiety-depression” and “Activation” and power in the fast bands and negative ones between “Anergia” and the beta bands. Positive significant correlations emerged between the total score in the Negative Symptoms Rating Scale and the amount of delta power, predominantly over the temporal region. Impairment in the Luria-Nebraska neuropsychological scores “Rhythm” and “Memory” correlated highly significantly with EEG band power. No correlations were found between neurological soft signs and EEG band power. Our results are in line with the hypothesis of a hypofrontality in schizophrenia. It is unlikely that these findings are an artefact of prior psychiatric treatment, as they were also observed in firstonset, neuroleptic naive schizophrenics. Moreover, our data suggest that these abnormalities are of clinical and functional relevance, as they correlated significantly with psychopathological and neuropsychological parameters.

Key words

Schizophrenia Topographic EEG Neuropsychology 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wagner F. Gattaz
    • 1
  • Susanne Mayer
    • 1
  • Peter Ziegler
    • 1
  • Michael Platz
    • 1
  • Theo Gasser
    • 1
  1. 1.Central Institute of Mental HealthMannheim 1Federal Republic of Germany

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