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Every subject underwent a medical and a psychiatric interview, which included the Mini international neuropsychiatry interview 5.0 (M. Severity assessment of SZ patients was determined with the positive and negative syndrome scale (PANSS) for SZ and the Clinical Global Impression Scale (CGI-S) .Exclusion criteria for this study were any current or past psychiatric diagnosis (excluding schizoaffective disorder diagnosis in the SZ group), substance abuse/dependence, the use of benzodiazepines or anticonvulsive drugs, mental retardation, a clinically significant medical illness or any history of neurological disease.Herein, we compared the behavioral performance and the elicited P300 component under the execution of a verbal N-back task at different WM loads (0-back to 2-back) in a sample of paranoid SZ patients and matched controls..Two psychiatrists confirmed the diagnosis of SZ (according to the DSM-IV-TR clinical version).All the subjects used the dominant hand to respond. References were placed at vertex by default, but were subsequently off-line re-referenced to averaged mastoids.Stimulus presentation was implemented using the STIM 1.0 software (Compumedics-Neuroscan N-back task timeline. Impedance values were kept at 5 KΩ for all electrodes.Trials were presented in 3 blocks; each block representing either the control (0- back) or WM conditions (1- and 2- back).Each block consisted in 180 trials with a 1:1 target/no target relation . presentation of a gray digit (size: 2.6 × 5.2 deg at 65 cm.
In healthy subjects, P300 amplitude was highest in the low WM load condition, and lowest in both the attentional control condition and the high WM load condition.from the face) located in the center of a black background screen in a 21' CRT monitor.Inter stimulus interval (ISI) were 1.7 sec in all the conditions studied.All these analyses were made using Scan 4.3 (Compumedics-Neuroscan The behavioral effects of WM load (0-, 1- and 2- back tasks) and group (patients and controls) were statistically evaluated using a repeated measures analysis (ANOVA general linear model).Hit rate (HR) was defined as percentage of correct responses, while reaction times (RTs) were defined as the first response of the subject 200 ms. Greenhouse-Geisser and Bonferroni methods were used to correct compound symmetry violations in the ANOVAs.
Reaction times were recorded after pressing the button.