Distinct pattern of P3a event-related potential in borderline personality disorder

Neuroreport. 2005 Feb 28;16(3):289-93. doi: 10.1097/00001756-200502280-00018.


P3a and P3b event-related brain potentials to auditory stimuli were recorded for 17 unmedicated patients with borderline personality disorder, 17 matched healthy controls and 100 healthy control participants spanning five decades. Using high-resolution fragmentary decomposition for single-trial event-related potential analysis, distinctive disturbances in P3a in borderline personality disorder patients were found: abnormally enhanced amplitude, failure to habituate and a loss of temporal locking with P3b. Normative age dependencies from 100 controls suggest that natural age-related decline in P3a amplitude is reduced in borderline personality disorder patients and is likely to indicate failure of frontal maturation. On the basis of the theories of Hughlings Jackson, this conceptualization of borderline personality disorder is consistent with an aetiological model of borderline personality disorder.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation / methods
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Borderline Personality Disorder / physiopathology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Electroencephalography / methods
  • Event-Related Potentials, P300 / physiology*
  • Evoked Potentials, Auditory / physiology*
  • Female
  • Frontal Lobe / physiopathology*
  • Frontal Lobe / radiation effects
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nonlinear Dynamics
  • Reaction Time / physiology
  • Reaction Time / radiation effects
  • Reference Values