Background There is evidence to suggest that people with established psychotic disorders show impairments in the mismatch negativity induced by a frequency-deviant sound (fMMN), and that these impairments worsen with the deterioration of psychotic symptoms. This study aimed to test whether individuals at ultra-high risk (UHR) for psychosis show pre-morbid impairments in fMMN, and if so, whether fMMN continues to deteriorate with transition to psychosis. Method fMMN was recorded in a cohort of UHR individuals (n = 42) and compared to healthy controls (n = 29). Of the 27 UHR participants who returned for a second EEG session, six participants had transitioned to psychosis by 12-month follow-up (UHR-T) and were compared to the 21 participants who did not transition (UHR-NT). Results fMMN amplitude was sig nificantly reduced, relative to healthy controls, in the UHR cohort. Furthermore, UHR-T individuals showed a significant decrease in fMMN amplitude over the period from baseline to post-transition; this reduction was not observed in UHR-NT. Conclusions These results suggest that fMMN is abnormal in UHR individuals, as has repeatedly been found previously in people with established psychotic disorders. The finding that fMMN impairment worsens with transition to psychosis is consistent with the staging model of psychosis; however, caution must be taken in interpreting these findings, given the extremely small sample size of the UHR-T group.
- event-related potential