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Keywords:

  • Auditory event-related potentials;
  • Auditory threshold;
  • Schizophrenia

Abstract

Inhibitory gating of response to repeated stimuli is demonstrated by several event-related potentials, including the auditory P50 wave. The present study examined the effects of variation in sound intensity on this phenomenon in schizophrenics and normal subjects. Paired clicks, 500 ms apart, were presented 50 dB above threshold to 10 normal subjects and 10 schizophrenics. The normal subjects demonstrated significantly more decrement of response to the second stimulus than did the schizophrenics. When the sounds were noticeably louder(70 dB above threshold), no such difference was observed. Rather, both groups had similarly diminished gating of response. A significant difference between schizophrenics and normal subjects was also observed when the sounds were 30 dB above threshold, but the difference was smaller than that at 50 dB. At any stimulus intensity, concomitant eye movements led to loss of gating of P50 in the normal subjects.