Background The mismatch negativity (MMN) component of the event-related potential and its magnetic counterpart, the MMNm, are generated by a mismatch between the physical features of a deviant stimulus and a neuronal sensory-memory trace produced by repetitive standard stimuli. Deficits in the MMN/MMNm have been reported in patients with major depression; however, the results are inconsistent. The present study investigated the pitch-MMNm in patients with major depression using whole-head 306-channel magnetoencephalography (MEG). Methods Twenty patients with major depression and 36 healthy subjects participated in this study. Subjects were presented with two sequences of auditory stimuli. One consisted of 1000 Hz standard signals (probability=90%) and 1200 Hz deviant signals (probability=10%), while the other consisted of 1200 Hz standard (90%) and 1000 Hz deviant signals (10%). Event-related brain responses to standard tones were subtracted from responses to deviant tones. Results Major depressive patients showed significantly reduced magnetic global field power (GFP) of MMNm in the right hemisphere (p=0.02), although no significant MMNm reduction was observed in the left hemisphere (p=0.81). Additionally, patients with major depression showed significantly earlier bilateral MMNm peak latencies (p=0.004). No significant associations were observed between MMNm variables and demographic data/clinical variables within the patients. Limitations We could not exclude the effects of antidepressants, mood stabilizers, or neuroleptics on the MMNm abnormalities found in patients with major depression. Sample size was also insufficient to permit subgroup analyses. Conclusions Patients with major depression exhibited reduced GFP of MMNm in the right hemisphere. The present study suggested that patients with major depression may have right hemispheric dominant preattentive dysfunction.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health