Neuropsychiatric Disorders as Erratic Attention Regulation – Lessons from Electrophysiology

  • Goded ShahafEmail author
Review Article


Attention related electrophysiological waves, such as P300, often deviate from norm in various populations of neuropsychiatric patients. For example, the amplitude is often smaller and the latency is often longer in major depressive disorder, in bipolar disorder and in schizophrenia. On the other hand, in other neuropsychiatric populations, it is often possible to note the opposite phenomena of larger P300 amplitude and shorter latency in comparison with norm, but only for a specific subset of stimuli. This is often reported in various anxiety disorders, substance abuse and various chronic pain syndromes. These findings in the various clinical populations, on their commonalities and differences, are presented in this work. The prevalence of these two types of deviations in the electrophysiological markers of attention, shared by multiple neuropsychiatric populations, raise interesting questions regarding the role of attention deviation and regulation in neuropsychiatry. We present these questions and outline a possible hypothesis in this regard. Furthermore, such potential sensitivity of the attention-related markers to clinical dynamics suggests they could be candidates for monitoring and, potentially, early-sensing of clinical dynamics. Therefore, we discuss the potential usability of such markers.


Psychopathology EEG ERP Attention 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interests

The author is the founder of BrainMARC LTD, which developed the Brain Engagement Index (BEI) – a marker for sustained attention. However, the manuscript is based on literature review of unrelated works. A minority of the studies cited are based on the BEI. However, they serve as a mere example for the larger family of attention-related markers.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any new studies with human participants or animals performed by the author.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.BrainMARC LTDYokneamIsrael

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