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128. Auditory Feedback and Pitch Perturbation in Population at Clinical High-Risk for Psychosis
Deficits in multisensory integration (MSI) in psychosis spectrum disorders are well established in the literature. However, our understanding of MSI in the clinical high-risk (CHR) period is still limited, particularly with respect to auditory and motor systems. Studies examining MSI utilizing auditory feedback loop paradigms that test integrating auditory input into motor output suggest that unlike healthy controls, clinical populations characterized by MSI deficits (e.g., Parkinson’s) respond to voice perturbations in an aberrant fashion. The goal of the present study is to examine potential MSI deficits in the CHR population via an auditory feedback paradigm. CHR participants (n=34) and matched healthy controls (n=21) completed a pitch-shift task in which they were instructed to vocalize the word “ahh” into a microphone when prompted and sustain vocalization while ignoring what they are hearing through the headphones. Their voices were recorded with a Koss SB40 headset and an attached Sennheiser MKE 2-P-K microphone, digitized with MOTU Ultralite Mk3 audio interface, and their vocal pitch perturbed. The pitch-shifted (100 cents upward or downward) audio output was then fed back into the headphones. The variables of interest were magnitude (how much the voice frequency changes from baseline in response to voice perturbation, measured in cents) and latency (time elapsed between the stimulus onset and the stimulus response, measured in milliseconds). We hypothesize that, compared to healthy controls, CHR participants will exhibit larger magnitudes and latencies in response to both upward and downward pitch shifts, suggesting difficulties with integrating auditory information and motor speech output. The findings could indicate MSI patterns, specifically related to motor and auditory processes, as a potential vulnerability marker relevant for further elucidating the pathogenesis of psychosis.