Frontal Alpha Asymmetry in Youth at Clinical High Risk for Psychosis

Lisa A. Bartolomeo, Molly A. Erickson, Lauren E. Arnold, Gregory P. Strauss

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: Negative symptoms are highly predictive of whether individuals at clinical high risk (CHR) develop a psychotic disorder. However, little is known about pathophysiological mechanisms underlying negative symptoms during this period. The current study examined neurophysiological mechanisms underlying negative symptoms in CHR individuals using electroencephalography frontal alpha asymmetry power, a biomarker of approach and avoidance motivation. Recent Findings: People with schizophrenia display abnormal patterns of frontal alpha asymmetry indicative of reduced approach motivation. However, it is unknown whether similar abnormalities occur in CHR youth that predict negative symptoms. Summary: Results indicated that CHR and healthy controls did not differ in frontal alpha asymmetry scores. However, in CHR youth, frontal alpha asymmetry was inversely correlated with the motivation and pleasure dimension of negative symptoms, which was accounted for by mood symptoms. Findings suggest that depression contributes to reduced approach motivation in CHR youth that manifests clinically as negative symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-26
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Behavioral Neuroscience Reports
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 15 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


  • Anhedonia
  • Avolition
  • Frontal alpha asymmetry
  • Negative symptoms
  • Prodrome
  • Psychosis


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