Abnormal Alpha Rhythm During Self-Referential Processing in Schizophrenia Patients

Shikui Jia, Miaomiao Liu, Peiwen Huang, Yanli Zhao, Shuping Tan, Ritsu Go, Tianyi Yan, Jinglong Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Schizophrenia patients exhibited a psychological abnormal appearance when they recognized objects related to themselves. This cognitive process is associated with self-referential processing. In this study, the self-referential memory (SRM) task was performed by 18 schizophrenia patients and 18 healthy controls. In the encoding stage of the SRM task, the behavioral experiment data and electroencephalogram (EEG) data were recorded in three experimental conditions (self-referential condition, other-referential condition, and physical condition). For data analysis, the electrophysiological performance of the time-frequency distribution, phase lag index (PLI) strengths, phase synchronization connectivity, and brain-network properties were assessed in schizophrenia patients compared to healthy controls. We found that schizophrenia patients exhibited abnormal alpha oscillation characteristics at the time of 100–300 ms poststimulus during the self-referential condition, which consisted of diminished time-frequency distributions over the prefrontal, parietal, and occipital regions; lower functional connectivity strengths of the PLI in the parietal and occipital areas; higher global efficiency and the lower characteristic path length; and nodal efficiency of local areas (increased nodal efficiency in temporal regions and decreased nodal efficiency in occipital region) for dynamic network topology properties. Furthermore, the evoked power of the alpha band during the self-referential condition was significantly correlated with the SRM bias score in the patients (r = 0.595, p = 0.009). These results provided electrophysiological evidence and supported the hypothesis that an abnormal alpha rhythm might be the principal factor of dysfunctional self-referential processing in schizophrenia patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number691
JournalFrontiers in Psychiatry
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • alpha rhythm
  • brain network
  • functional connectivity
  • schizophrenia patients
  • self-referential processing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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