EEG Microstates and Psychosocial Stress During an Exchange Year

Kadier, Nursija; Stein, Maria; Koenig, Thomas (2021). EEG Microstates and Psychosocial Stress During an Exchange Year. Brain topography, 34(2), pp. 117-120. Springer 10.1007/s10548-020-00806-0

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The well-known stress vulnerability model of psychosis assumes that psychotic episodes result from the coincidence of individual trait dispositions and triggering stressors. We thus hypothesized that a transient psychosocial stressor would not only increase the number of and stress caused by psychosis-like symptoms (like delusion-like symptoms or auditory hallucinations) in healthy subjects but also elicit changes in EEG microstates that have been related to the presence of psychotic symptoms in patients with schizophrenia. Considering a radical change of one’s psychosocial environment as a significant stressor, we analyzed psychotic symptoms and EEG microstate data in teenage exchange-students at an early and a later phase of their stay. The subjects experienced a small and transient, but significant increase of stress by psychosis-like symptoms. These changes in mental state were associated with increases in microstate class A, which has previously been related to unspecific stress. microstate classes C and D, which have consistently been found to be altered in patients with psychosis, were found unaffected by the time of the recording and the subjective stress experiences. Therefore, we conclude that microstate class A appears to be a psychosis independent and rather general correlate of psychosocial stress, whereas changes in microstate classes C and D seem to be more specifically tied to the presence of psychotic symptoms.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > University Psychiatric Services > University Hospital of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy > Translational Research Center
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy

UniBE Contributor:

Stein, Maria, König, Thomas


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Melanie Best

Date Deposited:

01 Dec 2020 15:10

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:42

Publisher DOI:


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