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Thirty-Third Annual Meeting of the Society for Research in Psychopathology

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135. Profiles of risk for psychosis: neurophysiology, cognitive function, and symptom severity

Cognitive impairments are a hallmark of schizophrenia and include abnormalities in executive function (e.g. error monitoring), attention and semantic processing. Event-related potentials (ERPs) can be used as neurophysiological measures of cognitive impairment to supplement behavioral measures such as neuropsychological assessments. While much research exists on formal diagnoses of schizophrenia and related disorders, profiles of functioning (relationships between ERPs, cognition, and symptoms) are less well understood across individuals at risk for developing these disorders. The current study recruited community participants (n=23) exhibiting risk for psychosis (score of >2 on Community Assessment of Psychic Experiences; CAPE). We report preliminary findings on a single ERP chosen from a battery of ERPs used in the Suffolk County Mental Health Project (SCMHP), a longitudinal study of first- episode psychosis: N400 (neural activity associated with semantic processing), ERN (error-monitoring), and P300 (allocation of attentional resources). Participants completed a picture-word matching task to elicit the N400, auditory oddball task eliciting the P300, and arrow flankers task to elicit the ERN. Neuropsychological measures were obtained using the NIH Toolbox to reflect behavioral measures of cognitive function: working memory (list sorting), language (picture vocabulary), executive function (flankers, card sorting), and processing speed (pattern comparison). Analyses are expected to include profiles across ERPs, symptom domains, and cognitive domains. Preliminary results showed medium effect sizes for P300 and positive symptoms (r= -.35), moderate effects between P300 and cognitive domains (r’s= -.20 to -.02), as well as positive symptoms and cognitive domains (r’s= .13 - .29). A final correlation was run in order to determine whether the profiles of cognitive functioning for each ERP and symptom domain were similar (r= -.66). These data suggest potential mediating effects of cognition on neural activity and symptoms, demonstrating a preliminary profile of risk for psychosis. Data collection is ongoing; target N=100. Analogous analyses across all ERPs, symptom, and cognitive domains are expected to be presented during the conference.

Keisha Novak
Purdue University

Sam Buck
Purdue University

Dan Foti
Purdue University


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