The electroencephalogram (EEG) of schizophrenia patients is known to exhibit a reduction of signal-to-noise ratio and of phase locking, as well as a facilitation of excitability, in response to a variety of external stimuli. Here, we demonstrate these effects in transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)-evoked potentials and in the resting-state EEG. To ensure veracity, we used 3 weekly sessions and analyzed both resting-state and TMS-EEG data. For the TMS responses, our analysis verifies known results. For the resting state, we introduce the methodology of mean-normalized variation to the EEG analysis (quartile-based coefficient of variation), which allows for a comparison of narrow-band EEG amplitude fluctuations to narrow-band Gaussian noise. This reveals that amplitude fluctuations in the delta, alpha, and beta bands of healthy controls are different from those in schizophrenia patients, on time scales of tens of seconds. We conclude that the EEG-measured cortical activity patterns of schizophrenia patients are more similar to noise, both in alpha- and beta-resting state and in TMS responses. Our results suggest that the ability of neuronal populations to form stable, locally, and temporally correlated activity is reduced in schizophrenia, a conclusion, that is, in accord with previous experiments on TMS-EEG and on resting-state EEG.
- noise hypothesis
- resting-state EEG