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Keywords:

  • Sensory gating;
  • Schizophrenia;
  • P50;
  • Gating out

Abstract

Sensory gating deficit in schizophrenia patients has been well-documented. However, a central conceptual issue, regarding whether the gating deficit results from an abnormal initial response (S1) or difficulty in attenuating the response to the repeating stimulus (S2), raise doubts about the validity and utility of the S2/S1 ratio as a measure of sensory gating. This meta-analysis study, therefore, sought to determine the consistency and relative magnitude of the effect of the two essential components (S1 and S2) and the ratio. The results of weighted random effects meta-analysis revealed that the overall effect sizes for the S1 amplitude, S2 amplitude, and P50 S2/S1 ratio were −0.19 (small), 0.65 (medium to large), and 0.93 (large), respectively. These results confirm that the S2/S1 ratio and the repeating (S2) stimulus differ robustly between schizophrenia patients and healthy controls in contrast to the consistent but smaller effect size for the S1 amplitude. These findings are more likely to reflect defective inhibition of repeating redundant input rather than an abnormal response to novel stimuli.