Event-related potentials and genetic risk for schizophrenia

Georg Winterer, Michael F. Egan, Thomas Rädler, Richard Coppola, Daniel R. Weinberger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Background: Event-related potentials (ERPs) during an auditory oddball task were investigated in patients with schizophrenia and in their healthy siblings to explore the question of whether abnormalities of two-dimensional topographic scalp-distribution of P300 amplitude and latency relate to genetic risk for schizophrenia. We also examined the P50, N100, and P200-waves, elicited during the same task. Methods: We investigated 42 schizophrenic patients, 62 of their healthy siblings, and 34 unrelated normal control subjects with a standard auditory oddball paradigm and 16 electroencephalogram electrodes. Amplitudes and latencies of the ERPs P50, N100, P200, and P300 were topographically analyzed. Results: In the patients, P300 amplitude was significantly decreased in the range of 54%-58% over the left parietotemporal area. Siblings did not show decreased P300 amplitudes when compared with normal subjects. P300 latencies were unchanged in both groups. No significant group differences were observed for the other event-related potentials. Conclusions: In line with previous studies, the P300 amplitude in schizophrenic patients was decreased over the left temporoparietal area; however, we found no evidence for a genetic trait effect in the event-related potential abnormality. Possible reasons for these largely negative findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)407-417
Number of pages11
JournalBiological psychiatry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 15 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Endophenotype
  • Event-related potentials
  • Genetic risk
  • P300
  • Schizophrenia
  • Topography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biological Psychiatry


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