Electrophysiology and schizophrenic vulnerability: The N400 component as endophenotype candidate? | électrophysiologie et vulnérabilité schizophrénique : La composante N400 comme endophénotype candidat?

M. Cermolacce, J.-A. Micoulaud-Franchi, M. Faugere, J. Naudin, M. Besson, J. Vion-Dury
Neurophysiologie Clinique/Clinical Neurophysiology. 2013-04-01; 43(2): 81-94
DOI: 10.1016/j.neucli.2013.01.119

Read on PubMed

1. Neurophysiol Clin. 2013 Apr;43(2):81-94. doi: 10.1016/j.neucli.2013.01.119. Epub
2013 Feb 19.

[Electrophysiology and schizophrenic vulnerability: the N400 component as
endophenotype candidate?].

[Article in French]

Cermolacce M(1), Micoulaud-Franchi JA, Faugere M, Naudin J, Besson M, Vion-Dury

Author information:
(1)Pôle universitaire de psychiatrie, CHU Sainte-Marguerite, 13274 Marseille
cedex 9, France.

Research on early stages of schizophrenia aims to provide early, objective, and
stable markers of vulnerability. In this review, we first briefly describe the
notion of such markers, or endophenotypes, notably in terms of stability,
specificity and heritability. Among other empirical approaches, event-related
potentials (ERPs) have been recently considered as putative endophenotypes. The
N400 component is an event-related brain potential classically elicited during
semantic processing, as suggested by a growing body of empirical studies with a
large variety of paradigms. We provide here a short account of its typical
descriptions and the interpretations of its functional significance. Then we
describe the main current results about schizophrenic alterations of the N400
component. Two levels of semantic processing (automatic spreading and controlled
mechanisms) are disturbed in schizophrenia, even if the underlying mechanisms
remain unclear or discussed. Several controversial issues may also need further
research, such as the influence of symptomatology and evolution of schizophrenia.
Another crucial topic concerns the putative schizophrenic specificity, and only
little is known about possible alterations of N400 in affective disorders. We
discuss the notion of heritability, mainly explored in current literature among
people with schizotypal personality. Finally, even if N400 studies contribute to
a better understanding of linguistic disturbances in schizophrenia, it appears
difficult to consider the N400 component as a relevant schizophrenic
endophenotype, given the current paucity of results on its stability, its
heritability (clinical and genetic vulnerability) and its schizophrenic

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

DOI: 10.1016/j.neucli.2013.01.119
PMID: 23540257 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Know more about