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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Hum. Neurosci. | doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2019.00379

EEG-based brain functional connectivity in first-episode schizophrenia patients, ultra-high-risk individuals, and healthy controls during P50 suppression

  • 1School of Biological Science and Medical Engineering, Beihang University, China
  • 2Beijing Anding Hospital, Capital Medical University, China

Dysfunctional processing of auditory sensory gating has generally been found in schizophrenic patients and ultra-high-risk (UHR) individuals. The aim of the study was to investigate the differences of functional interaction between brain regions and behaviors during the P50 task in UHR group compared with those in first-episode schizophrenia patients (FESZ) and healthy controls (HC) groups. The study included 128-channel scalp Electroencephalogram (EEG) recordings during the P50 auditory oddball task for 35 unmedicated FESZ, 30 drug-free UHR, and 40 HC. Cortical sources of scalp electrical activity were recomputed using exact low-resolution electromagnetic tomography (eLORETA), and functional brain networks were built at the source level and compared between the groups (FESZ, UHR, HC). A classifier using decision tree was designed for differentiating the three groups, which uses demographic characteristics, MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery parameters, behavioral features in ERP task, and the measures of functional brain networks based on graph theory during the P50 task. The results showed that very few brain connectivities were significantly different between FESZ and UHR groups during the P50 task, and that a large number of brain connectivities were significantly different between FESZ and HC groups and between UHR and HC groups. Furthermore, the FESZ group had a stronger connection in the right superior frontal gyrus and right insula than the HC group. And the UHR group had an enhanced connection in the paracentral lobule and the middle temporal gyrus compared with the HC group. Moreover, comparison of classification analysis results showed that brain network metrics during P50 task can improve the accuracy of the classification for FESZ, UHR and HC groups. Our findings provide insight into the mechanisms of P50 inhibition in schizophrenia and could potentially improve the performance of early identification and diagnosis of schizophrenia for the earliest intervention.

Keywords: EEG, ERP, P50, functional brain connectivity, first-episode, Schizophrenia, ultra-high risk, Classification

Received: 15 Apr 2019; Accepted: 10 Oct 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Chang, Liu, Tian, Zhang and Wang. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence:
Prof. Jicong Zhang, School of Biological Science and Medical Engineering, Beihang University, Beijing, China, jicongzhang@buaa.edu.cn
Prof. Chuan-Yue Wang, Beijing Anding Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, 100009, Beijing Municipality, China, wang.cy@163.net