Cross-modal generality of the gating deficit.
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Auditory P50/M50 paired-click studies have established an association between schizophrenia and impaired sensory gating in the auditory modality. However, the presumed cross-modal generality of the gating deficit has received little study. The present study examined gating in area 3b of primary somatosensory cortex to evaluate patients' somatosensory gating at this first stage of cortical processing. One hundred twenty-two channels of magnetoencephalography (MEG) data were collected from 27 subjects with chronic schizophrenia and 21 controls during a somatosensory paired-pulse paradigm with a 75- or 500-ms interstimulus interval. M20 somatosensory responses were localized using magnetic source imaging, and a gating ratio was calculated. In a subset of these subjects, MEG was also done for the standard auditory paradigm to assess M50 gating. Patients showed abnormal auditory M50 gating but normal somatosensory M20 gating. Results argue against a cross-modal gating deficit in primary somatosensory cortex.