Processing sentence context in women with schizotypal personality disorder: an ERP study

Niznikiewicz MA, Friedman M, Shenton ME, Voglmaier M, Nestor PG, Frumin M, Seidman L, Sutton J, McCarley RW

Psychophysiology 2004 May;41(3):367-71

PMID: 15102121


Accumulating evidence suggests that schizophrenic patients do not use context efficiently. Also, studies suggest similarities in clinical and cognitive profiles between schizophrenic and schizotypal personality disorder (SPD) individuals, and epidemiological studies point to a genetic link between the two disorders. This study examined electrophysiological correlates of processing sentence context in a group of SPD women in a classical N400 sentence paradigm. The study assessed if the dysfunction in context use found previously in schizophrenia and male SPD also exists in female SPD. We tested 17 SPD and 16 matched normal control women. The results suggest the presence of abnormality in context use in female SPD similar to that previously reported for male schizophrenic and SPD individuals, but of lesser degree of severity. In SPD women, relative to their comparison group, a more negative N400 was found only to auditory congruent sentences.