Patients with schizophrenia demonstrate reduced cortical sensitivity to auditory oddball regularities

David A. Bridwell, Kent A. Kiehl, Godfrey D. Pearlson, Vince D. Calhoun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Background: Individuals with schizophrenia demonstrate deficits in context processing. These deficits can be characterized by examining the influence of auditory context on ERP responses to rare target tones. Previous studies demonstrate that target ERP deficits in schizophrenia depend on the number of non-targets that precede the target ERP. Our goal was to extend these findings by examining whether patients with schizophrenia demonstrate a reduced sensitivity to subtle differences in the auditory context preceding rare target stimuli, as quantified by Itti and Baldi's Bayesian prediction error model. Methods: Cortical responses to auditory oddball tones were measured within 59 individuals with schizophrenia (SZ) and 59 controls (HC). Individual trial amplitudes were estimated by conducting group ICA on the EEG time series and analyzing the reconstructed individual temporal sources. We quantified the auditory context of target tones using the Bayesian prediction error model and determined whether ERP amplitudes to tones were sensitive to this measure of context, or the number of preceding non-targets directly, within HC and SZ. Results: Individuals with schizophrenia show a significant reduction in ERP response amplitudes to targets approximately 244-412. ms following target onsets. Individual amplitudes within this window showed significantly greater sensitivity to the modeled prediction error within the controls than in individuals with schizophrenia. These differences approached significance when examining differences in amplitudes as a function of the number of preceding non-targets. Conclusions: These findings further clarify differences in HC and SZ with regard to their attentional and perceptual sensitivity to subtle environmental regularities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)189-194
Number of pages6
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - 2014


  • Acoustic regularities
  • Auditory oddball
  • Bayesian prediction error
  • Context processing
  • Perceptual organization
  • Schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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