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Advanced Meeting Colloquium Feb 21-25,1997

5th Annual Winter Conference on Brain Function/EEG, Modification & Training: Advanced Meeting Colloquium Feb 21-25,1997 Palm Springs CA, Organized by Rob Kall Abstract

SELF-REGULATION OF INTERHEMISPHERIC ASYMMETRY IN SCHIZOPHRENIA
Jennifer Wild, John Gruzelier, Elinor Hardman and Rasheed Zaman

Professor John Gruzelier, Dept. Of Psychiatry,
Charing Cross and Mestminster Medical School
St. Dustans Rd., London, W6 8RF, UK

  Over years we have shown that schizophrenic patients, both undrugged and medicated, have   asymmetries of hemispheric function which reduce or reverse when symptoms improve or remit. 
The asymmetries and direction of reversal are syndrome dependent. We therefore reasoned that self  regulation of interhemispheric asymetry may have therapeutic benefits.   First we set out to examine the ability of schizophrenic patients admitted to a district general hospital to learn self  regulation as a prelude to a training programme. 

Here we report on the ability of 10 schizophrenic patients to learn lateralised interhemispheric control of slow cortical potentials across electrode sites C3-C4 during 10 sessions of visual EEG biofeedback.  Subjects were divided into three groups:  those characterised by a withdrawn syndrome (right>left) formed Group 1, subjects characterised by the active syndrome (left>right) formed Group 2, and subjects with mixed symptoms (both active and withdrawn) formed Group 3. 

All subjects were told to use contralateral body sensations to guide a rocket on a screen, initially centrally placed, which rose to indicate an increase in left hemisphere negativity (relative to the right hemisphere) and fell to indicate an increase in right hemisphere negativity.  Data were analysed for subjects! ability to generate correct direction shifts in A (move right) and B trials (move left) trials across the three blocks of twenty trials in the ten sessions.  Previous research with normals suggested that withdrawn syndrome subjects would show superior performance.  A preliminary analysis of this ongoing study found that mixed syndrome patients, i.e., the more symmetrical group were the only ones to learn lateral SCP control at the central placements.

We gratefully acknowledge a Senior Investigator Award from NARSAD and a grant from the L.S.  Saugstad Fund.

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