Background. This study compared the ability of two different models of psychopathology in
schizophrenia to account for findings in the quantified electroencephalogram (qEEG) recorded
from midline sites in a group of 40 subjects with schizophrenia. The first model was based on the
positive and negative syndrome dichotomy, the second was a tripartite model that resembled
Liddle's syndromes of psychomotor poverty, disorganization and reality distortion (Liddle, 1987a).
Methods. A group of 40 subjects with predominantly chronic schizophrenia was assessed with the
Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) prior to the acquisition of their quantified
electroencephalogram. The relationship between EEG data and symptomatology was explored,
initially with the PANSS positive and negative subscales and then with a tripartite model derived
from a principal component analysis of the 14 positive and negative subscale items.
Results. The tripartite syndrome model showed a greater concordance with the qEEG of the
subjects than the dichotomous model. ‘Psychomotor poverty’ was significantly positively correlated
with both delta and beta power and ‘reality distortion’ was significantly positively correlated with
alpha-2 power. No significant correlations between the positive and negative syndrome dichotomy
and the qEEG were observed.
Conclusions. This study lends support to the factor analysis of psychopathology, and specifically the
tripartite syndrome model of schizophrenia, as a step in explicating the biological dimensions of the