Auditory mismatch negativity in bipolar disorder: A focused review

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The auditory mismatch negativity, a component of the event-related potential elicited by an unexpected stimulus in a sequence of acoustic stimuli, provides an objective measure of the accuracy of the echoic information processing of the human brain in vivo. Auditory mismatch negativity is also a useful probe of cortical glutamatergic N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor activity and disturbance. Notably, auditory mismatch negativity is consistently impaired in schizophrenia. Because of the wide spectrum extending from bipolar affective illness and schizoaffective psychosis to typical schizophrenia, we examined the literature on auditory mismatch negativity in bipolar disorder with the aim to find any neurophysiological dysfunction concerning pre-attentive information processing shared by these clinical conditions. This focused review includes 26 original articles published in peer-reviewed journals and indexed in the National Institutes of Health National Library of Medicine (PubMed) search system. Overall, evidence is consistent with the finding that auditory mismatch negativity is impaired in bipolar disorder with psychotic features, even though to a lesser extent than in schizophrenia. It must be acknowledged that, in a few twin and family studies, mismatch negativity abnormalities were not specifically associated with bipolar disorder. In conclusion, auditory mismatch negativity research supports the involvement of the N-methyl-D-aspartate system in the pathophysiology of bipolar disorder, as previously assessed for schizophrenia, thus creating an intriguing trait d'union between these two mental illnesses and stimulating the development of novel therapeutic agents. With additional replication and validation, auditory mismatch negativity may be further considered as a correlate of a common psychopathology of schizophrenia and bipolar spectrum illnesses.

Original languageEnglish
JournalReviews in the Neurosciences
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021


  • Glutamate receptor
  • Neurophysiology
  • Pre-attentive processing
  • Psychosis
  • Translational neuroscience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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