The study of non-clinical individuals with schizotypal traits has been considered to provide a promising endophenotypic approach to understanding schizophrenia, because schizophrenia is highly heterogeneous, and a number of confounding factors may affect neuropsychological performance. Here, we investigated whether deficits in explicit verbal memory in individuals with schizotypal traits are associated with abnormalities in the local and interregional synchrony of brain activity. Memory deficits have been recognized as a core problem in schizophrenia, and previous studies have consistently shown explicit verbal memory impairment in schizophrenic patients. However, the mechanism of this impairment has not been fully revealed. Seventeen individuals with schizotypal traits and 17 age-matched, normal controls participated. Multichannel event-related electroencephalograms (EEGs) were recorded while the subjects performed a continuous recognition task. Event-related spectral perturbations (ERSPs) and inter-regional theta-band phase locking values (TPLVs) were investigated to determine the differences in local and global neural synchrony between the two subject groups. Additionally, the connection patterns of the TPLVs were quantitatively analyzed using graph theory measures. An old/new effect was found in the induced thetaband ERSP in both groups. However, the difference between the old and new was larger in normal controls than in schizotypal trait group. The tendency of elevated old/new effect in normal controls was observed in anterior-posterior theta-band phase synchrony as well. Our results suggest that explicit memory deficits observed in schizophrenia patients can also be found in non-clinical individuals with psychometrically defined schizotypal traits.
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© 2016 Choi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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