Long-range synchrony of γ oscillations and auditory hallucination symptoms in schizophrenia

Int J Psychophysiol. 2011 Jan;79(1):55-63. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2010.08.004. Epub 2010 Aug 14.


Phase locking in the gamma-band range has been shown to be diminished in patients with schizophrenia. Moreover, there have been reports of positive correlations between phase locking in the gamma-band range and positive symptoms, especially hallucinations. The aim of the present study was to use a new methodological approach in order to investigate gamma-band phase synchronization between the left and right auditory cortex in patients with schizophrenia and its relationship to auditory hallucinations. Subjects were 18 patients with chronic schizophrenia (SZ) and 16 healthy control (HC) subjects. Auditory hallucination symptom scores were obtained using the Scale for the Assessment of Positive Symptoms. Stimuli were 40-Hz binaural click trains. The generators of the 40Hz-ASSR were localized using eLORETA and based on the computed intracranial signals lagged interhemispheric phase locking between primary and secondary auditory cortices was analyzed. Current source density of the 40 ASSR response was significantly diminished in SZ in comparison to HC in the right superior and middle temporal gyrus (p<0.05). Interhemispheric phase locking was reduced in SZ in comparison to HC for the primary auditory cortices (p<0.05) but not in the secondary auditory cortices. A significant positive correlation was found between auditory hallucination symptom scores and phase synchronization between the primary auditory cortices (p<0.05, corrected for multiple testing) but not for the secondary auditory cortices. These results suggest that long-range synchrony of gamma oscillations is disturbed in schizophrenia and that this deficit is related to clinical symptoms such as auditory hallucinations.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation / methods*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Auditory Cortex / physiopathology*
  • Brain Waves / physiology*
  • Electroencephalography / methods*
  • Hallucinations / complications
  • Hallucinations / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Schizophrenia / complications
  • Schizophrenia / physiopathology*
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult