Increased absolute magnitude of gamma synchrony in first-episode psychosis

Gary Flynn, David Alexander, Anthony Harris, Thomas Whitford, Wilson Wong, Cherrie Galletly, Steve Silverstein, Evian Gordon, Leanne M. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Objectives: Recent studies have explored a model of the disconnection hypothesis of schizophrenia through the demonstration of abnormal stimulus induced gamma phase synchrony (GPS). These studies have principally examined synchrony in the 40 Hz band elicited in post-stimulus time periods, relative to a pre-stimulus baseline. In this study we examined the absolute magnitude of GPS elicited by a selective attention task, in first-episode psychosis (FEP). We hypothesized that FEP would be associated with abnormalities in absolute GPS, particularly when required to selectively attend to task-relevant stimuli. Methods: Fifty-five first-episode psychosis (FEP) subjects and one hundred and ten matched healthy control subjects underwent an auditory oddball selective attention task during EEG recording. The absolute magnitude of GPS was extracted for the range 35-45 Hz, and time-locked to stimulus onset. GPS averaged were computed for oddball 'target' (task-relevant) and 'non-target' (task-irrelevant) stimuli, for each subject. Results: FEP subjects showed a significant elevation in absolute GPS relative to controls, apparent across the 35-45 Hz range. This elevation was most marked in the left centro-temporal region, across the 800 ms post-stimulus period. In FEP subjects, the elevation in GPS was also greater for target compared to non-target stimuli, while healthy controls did not show a stimulus effect. Conclusion: These findings complement previous evidence for reductions in peak gamma synchrony, calculated relative to a pre-stimulus baseline, in schizophrenia. The results an excess of absolute GPS in schizophrenia may contribute to an inability to effectively integrate task-relevant information, which underlie psychotic symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)262-271
Number of pages10
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Oct 2008
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


  • Connectivity
  • EEG
  • First-episode psychosis
  • Gamma synchrony
  • Neural assembly
  • Oddball task
  • Schizophrenia


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