Transdiagnostic psychiatric symptoms and event-related potentials following rewarding and aversive outcomes

Jeffrey S. Bedwell, Geoffrey F. Potts, Diane C. Gooding, Benjamin J. Trachik, Chi C. Chan, Christopher C. Spencer

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13 Scopus citations


There is a need for a better understanding of transdiagnostic psychiatric symptoms that relate to neurophysiological abnormalities following rewarding and aversive feedback in order to inform development of novel targeted treatments. To address this need, we examined a transdiagnostic sample of 44 adults (mean age: 35.52; 57% female), which consisted of individuals with broadly-defined schizophrenia-spectrum disorders (n = 16), bipolar disorders (n = 10), other mood and anxiety disorders (n = 5), and no history of a psychiatric disorder (n = 13). Participants completed a Pavlovian monetary reward prediction task during 32- channel electroencephalogram recording. We assessed the event-related potentials (ERPs) of feedback-related negativity (FRN), feedback-related positivity (FRP), and the late positive potential (LPP), following better and worse than expected outcomes. Examination of symptom relationships using stepwise regressions across the entire sample revealed that an increase in the clinician-rated Negative Symptoms factor score from the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale, was related to a decreased LPP amplitude during better than expected (i.e., rewarding) outcomes. We also found that increased self-reported scores on the Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire (Brief-Revised) Disorganized factor related to an increased FRN amplitude during worse than expected (i.e., aversive) outcomes. Across the entire sample, the FRP component amplitudes did not show significant relationships to any of the symptoms examined. Analyses of the three diagnostic groups of schizophrenia-spectrum disorders, bipolar disorders, and nonpsychiatric controls did not reveal any statistically significant differences across the ERP amplitudes and conditions. These findings suggest relationships between specific neurophysiological abnormalities following rewarding and aversive outcomes and particular transdiagnostic psychiatric symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0157084
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2016
Externally publishedYes


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