Background: Patients with schizophrenia have auditory gating deficits; however, little is known about P50 auditory gating to human voices and its association with clinical symptoms. We examined the functioning of auditory gating and its relationship with the clinical symptoms in schizophrenia. Methods: Auditory evoked magnetoencephalography responses to the first and the second voices stimuli were recorded in 22 schizophrenia patients and 28 normal control subjects. The auditory gating ratios of P50m and N100m were investigated and P50m-symptom correlations were also investigated. Results: Patients showed significantly higher P50m gating ratios to human voices specifically in the left hemisphere. Moreover, patients with higher left P50m gating ratios showed more severe auditory hallucinations, while patients with higher right P50m gating ratios showed more severe negative symptoms. Conclusions: The present study suggests that schizophrenia patients have auditory gating deficits to human voices, specifically in the left hemisphere and auditory hallucinations of schizophrenia may be associated with sensory overload to human voices in the auditory cortex.
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