Auditory verbal hallucinations (AVH) are common in patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD). We examined two candidate mechanisms of AVH in patients with BPD, suggested to underlie sensory processing systems that contribute to psychotic symptoms in patients with schizophrenia; sensory gating (P50 ratio and P50 difference) and change detection (mismatch negativity; MMN). Via electroencephalographic recordings P50 amplitude, P50 ratio, P50 difference and MMN amplitude were compared between 23 borderline patients with and 25 without AVH, and 26 healthy controls. Borderline patients with AVH had a significantly lower P50 difference compared with healthy controls, whereas no difference was found between borderline patients without AVH and healthy controls. The groups did not differ on MMN amplitude. The impaired sensory gating in patients with borderline personality disorder who experience AVH implies that P50 sensory gating deficiencies may underlie psychotic vulnerability in this specific patient group. Patients with borderline personality disorder with or without AVH did not have problems with auditory change detection. This may explain why they are spared from the poor outcome associated with negative symptoms and symptoms of disorganization in patients with chronic schizophrenia.

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Keywords P50, Sensory gating, Mismatch negativity, Psychosis, Event-related potentials, Evoked potential
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Journal Psychiatry Research
Niemantsverdriet, M.B.A., Slotema, C.W., van der Veen, F.M., van der Gaag, M., Sommer, I.E.C., Deen, M, & Franken, I.H.A. (2019). Sensory processing deficiencies in patients with borderline personality disorder who experience auditory verbal hallucinations. Psychiatry Research, 281. Retrieved from