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Poster B26, Wednesday, November 8, 3:00 – 4:15 pm, Harborview and Loch Raven Ballrooms

Prominence in sentence comprehension in schizophrenic subjets: An ERP study

María Francisca Alonso-Sánchez1, Lucía Zepeda-Rivera1, Aland Astudillo;1Universidad Santo Tomás, 2Universidad de Valparaíso

Background Schizophrenia is a chronic neurobiological disorder with recurrent tendency and wide heterogeneity of positive, negative and mood symptoms, among them delusions, hallucinations, catatonic or disorganized behavior, apathy, reduced thought fluidity, disperse and unproductive language, and difficulty with goal oriented behaviors (APA, 2014). Besides, schizophrenia involves alteratiosn in executive function, psychomotor speed and social skills (Tandon, Nasrallah, & Keshavan, 2009). Another relevant feature is the impediment that the symptoms generate in social, occupational and daily life activities (Tandon, Nasrallah, & Keshavan, 2009). The communication in schizophrenia is heterogeneous and the descriptions are usually subjective and unspecific, commonly using scales such as Andreasen (1986) that decompose the schizophrenic language in 18 criteria (speech poverty, content poverty, pressure speech, tangential discourse, derailment, incoherence, illogicity, clanging, neologisms, approximate words, goal loss, perseverations, echolalia, blockade, pedantic and self-referential discourse). With the use of error detection tests along with EEG measurements, some authors have observed that subjects with schizophrenia are insensitive to syntactic and semantic violations (Kuperberg, 2000), other authors have observed normal triggering of N400 of the semantic component and in the ELAN component, whereas the P600 wave has not been triggered against elicitation with syntactic incongruities (Ruchsow, 2003). Likewise, it has been observed that subjects with schizophrenia have lower P600 wave amplitude in response to syntactic and semantic violations. Although there are several studies that present evidence of syntactic alteration, there are still discrepancies about the syntactic alteration in subjects with schizophrenia and their interrelation with the semantic level. In this context, the language alteration in schizophrenia is still not distinguishable from in the syntactic level and the limits with the semantic deficit. The mayor concern of sentence interpretation is the semantic and syntactic interface. Particulary, in spanish the information that determine the prominence of a sentence element is the hierarchy stablished by the thematic role (Gattei, 2015). The dative object-experiencer verbs makes the reanalysis of initial target object structure more easily, modulated by the tematic hierarchy and is associated with a N400 ERP. Furthemore, the prominence reversal of SVO senteces with a psych verb cued morphosyntactically elicits a P600 due to thematic mismatch (Bornkessel-Schlesewsky, 2014). According to this, the aim of this study was to assess the prominence information span in schizophrenia subjects. Methods An ERP study was made with sentences constructed with variation in the thematic structure of the verb (activity or psych verbs) and with manipulation of the word order (SVO or OVS). The schizophrenic subject were matched in age and education with healthy controls. The ERP were recorded with an 64 channel Biosemi EEG. The signal processing was made with EEGLAB. The artifacts were removed with ICA correction. Results The analysis of the response time and the accuracy of response shown the performance deficit of the schizophrenic subjects. Additionally it was observed the differences in the SVO with psych verbs associated with de P600 component and the OVS activity verb associated with the N400 component among the schizophrenic and healthy subjects.

Topic Area: Language Disorders

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