N100 evoked potential latency variation and startle in schizophrenia.
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The contribution of evoked potential (EP) latency jitter, a measure of CNS temporal variability, on startle and EP gating defects in schizophrenic subjects has not been characterized. The amplitude of the N100/P200 EP complex (peak to trough) derived using a time-locked averaging procedure, N100 EP latency jitter derived from single trial analysis, acoustic startle response and clinical symptoms were measured in 51 schizophrenic subjects. N100 latency jitter was inversely correlated with N100/P200 EP amplitude in both cross-sectional and longitudinal analysis. Subjects with elevated EP gating ratios (>0.5) had similar latency jitter values for initial (S1) and test (S2) stimuli, while subjects with a low gating ratio (0-0.5) had a lower level of S1 latency jitter. Temporal variability thus plays a significant and complex role in previously reported sensory gating deficits in schizophrenic subjects.