Schizophrenia is characterized by temporal imprecision and irregularities on neuronal, psychological cognitive, and behavioral levels which are usually tested during task-related activity. This leaves open whether analogous temporal imprecision and irregularities can already be observed in the brain's spontaneous activity as measured during the resting state; this is the goal of our study. Building on recent task-related data, we, using EEG, aimed to investigate the temporal precision and regularity of phase coherence over time in healthy, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder participants. To this end, we developed a novel methodology, nominal frequency phase stability (NFPS), that allows to measure stability over phase angles in selected frequencies. By applying sample entropy quantification to the time-series of the nominal frequency phase angle time series, we found increased irregularities in theta activity over a frontocentral electrode in schizophrenia but not in bipolar disorder. We therefore assume that temporal imprecision and irregularity already occur in the brain's spontaneous activity in schizophrenia.
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