Phase-Amplitude Coupling of the Electroencephalogram in the Auditory Cortex in Schizophrenia

Shogo Hirano, Alexander Nakhnikian, Yoji Hirano, Naoya Oribe, Shigenobu Kanba, Toshiaki Onitsuka, Margaret Levin, Kevin M. Spencer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Background Cross-frequency interactions may coordinate neural circuits operating at different frequencies. While neural oscillations associated with particular circuits in schizophrenia (SZ) are impaired, few studies have examined cross-frequency interactions. Here we examined phase-amplitude coupling (PAC) in the electroencephalograms of individuals with SZ and healthy control subjects (HCs). We computed PAC during the baseline period of 40-Hz auditory steady-state stimulation and rest. We hypothesized that subjects with SZ would show abnormal theta/gamma coupling during stimulation, especially in the left auditory cortex, and coupling with high frequencies would be higher during stimulation than during rest. Methods We reanalyzed data from 18 subjects with SZ and 18 HCs. Auditory cortex electroencephalogram activity was estimated using dipole source localization. PAC was computed using the debiased PAC measure, calculated with the generalized Morse wavelet transform. PAC clusters were identified using cluster-corrected permutation testing and interrogated in analyses of variance with correction for multiple tests. Results Overall, coupling of high beta and gamma amplitude was higher during the auditory steady-state response, while alpha/beta PAC was higher during rest. Theta/alpha PAC was higher in subjects with SZ than in HCs. Theta/gamma PAC was lateralized to the left hemisphere in HCs but was not lateralized in subjects with SZ. Conclusions PAC involving high frequencies was state dependent and not abnormal in SZ. Increased theta/alpha PAC in subjects with SZ was consistent with other evidence of increased low-frequency activity. Hemispheric lateralization of theta/gamma PAC was reduced in subjects with SZ, consistent with evidence for left hemisphere auditory cortex abnormalities in subjects with SZ. PAC may reveal new insights into neural circuitry abnormalities in SZ and other neuropsychiatric disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-76
Number of pages8
JournalBiological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Biological Psychiatry


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