A considerable body of work over the last 10 years combining noninvasive electrophysiology (electroencephalography/magnetoencephalography) in patient populations with preclinical research has contributed to the conceptualization of schizophrenia as a disorder associated with aberrant neural dynamics and disturbances in excitation/inhibition balance. This complements previous research that has largely focused on the identification of abnormalities in circumscribed brain regions and on disturbances of dopaminergic mechanisms as a cause of positive symptoms and executive deficits. In the current review, we provide an update on studies focusing on aberrant neural dynamics. First, we discuss the role of rhythmic activity in neural dynamics and in the coordination of distributed neuronal activity into organized neural states. This is followed by an overview on the current evidence for impaired neural oscillations and synchrony in schizophrenia and associated abnormalities in gamma-aminobutyric acidergic and glutamatergic neurotransmission. Finally, we discuss the distinction between fundamental symptoms, which are reflected in cognitive deficits, and psychotic, accessory symptoms, the latter likely constituting a compensatory response for aberrant neuronal dynamics.
Keywords: Cognition; Development; Dynamics; Neural oscillations; Schizophrenia; Translational research.
Copyright © 2015 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.