Social phobia, schizophrenia and autism – similarities identified in neural response patterns

Written by Roisin Conneely

New findings from Swinburne University (Melbourne, Australia) indicate that individuals who suffer from social phobia exhibit brain responses similar to those with autism or schizophrenia, presenting possible links between these conditions. The study demonstrated increased brain responses when socially phobic individuals were exposed to unexpected speech, or ‘phonemes’, a response normally associated with disorders such as autism and schizophrenia. The team used magnetoencephalography to identify differences in auditory processing between two groups. They examined auditory P300 (P3), an electrical potential which occurs in response to auditory changes. Abnormalities in P3 have been reported in multiple neuropsychological conditions, predominantly schizophrenia and...

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