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

Front. Psychiatry | doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2019.00691

Abnormal Alpha Rhythm during Self-referential Processing in Schizophrenia Patients

Shikui Jia1, Jinglong Wu1, Peiwen Huang1, Yanli Zhao2,  Shuping Tan2 and  Tianyi Yan3*
  • 1School of Mechatronical Engineering, Beijing Institute of Technology, China
  • 2Center for Psychiatric Research, Beijing Huilongguan Hospital, China
  • 3School of Life Science, Beijing Institute of Technology, China

Schizophrenia patients exhibited an abnormal representation of cognitive psychology when they recognized objects related to themselves. This cognitive process is associated with self-referential processing. In this study, the self-referential memory (SRM) task was performed by 18 schizophrenia patients and 18 healthy controls. In the encoding stage of the SRM task, the behavioral experiment data and electroencephalogram (EEG) data were recorded in three experimental conditions (self-referential condition, other-referential condition, and physical condition). For data analysis, the electrophysiological performance of the time-frequency distribution, phase lag index (PLI) strengths, phase synchronization connectivity and brain-network properties were assessed in schizophrenia patients compared to healthy controls. We found that schizophrenia patients exhibited abnormal alpha oscillation characteristics at the time of 100-300 ms post-stimulus during the self-referential condition, which consisted of diminished time-frequency distributions over the prefrontal, parietal, and occipital regions, lower functional connectivity strengths of the PLI in the parietal and occipital areas, the higher global efficiency and the lower characteristic path length, and the nodal efficiency of local areas (increased nodal efficiency in temporal regions and decreased nodal efficiency in occipital region) for dynamic network topology properties. Furthermore, the evoked power of alpha band during the self-referential condition was significantly correlated with the SRM bias score in the patients (r=0.595, p=0.009). These results provided electrophysiological evidence and supported the hypothesis that an abnormal alpha rhythm might be the principal factor of dysfunctional self-referential processing in schizophrenia patients.

Keywords: schizophrenia patients, self-referential processing, Alpha Rhythm, functional connectivity, brain-network

Received: 16 May 2019; Accepted: 27 Aug 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Jia, Wu, Huang, Zhao, Tan and Yan. 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. Tianyi Yan, School of Life Science, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing, China, yantianyi@bit.edu.cn