EEG microstates are a candidate endophenotype for schizophrenia

Nat Commun. 2020 Jun 18;11(1):3089. doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-16914-1.


Electroencephalogram microstates are recurrent scalp potential configurations that remain stable for around 90 ms. The dynamics of two of the four canonical classes of microstates, commonly labeled as C and D, have been suggested as a potential endophenotype for schizophrenia. For endophenotypes, unaffected relatives of patients must show abnormalities compared to controls. Here, we examined microstate dynamics in resting-state recordings of unaffected siblings of patients with schizophrenia, patients with schizophrenia, healthy controls, and patients with first episodes of psychosis (FEP). Patients with schizophrenia and their siblings showed increased presence of microstate class C and decreased presence of microstate class D compared to controls. No difference was found between FEP and chronic patients. Our findings suggest that the dynamics of microstate classes C and D are a candidate endophenotype for schizophrenia.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Electroencephalography / methods*
  • Endophenotypes
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Psychotic Disorders / pathology
  • Schizophrenia / pathology*