Contingent negative variation (CNV) topography, hemispheric asymmetry and time-course were investigated in healthy subjects and non-medicated paranoid schizophrenic patients in two antisaccade paradigms with the short (800-1000 ms) and long (1200-1400 ms) durations of the fixation period. EEG and electrooculogram (EOG) were recorded. Saccade characteristics and mean amplitudes of slow cortical potentials time-locked to peripheral target were analyzed in 23 healthy volunteers and 19 schizophrenic patients. Compared to healthy control subjects, schizophrenic patients had significantly slower antisaccades and committed significantly more erroneous saccades in the both antisaccade tasks. The prolongation of the fixation period resulted in noticeable decrease of error percent in patients group. The analysis of CNV time-course has revealed two distinct stages in both groups. The early CNV stage was represented by a negative wave with the maximal amplitude over midline fronto-central area, and the late stage was characterized by increased CNV amplitude at the midline and left parietal electrode sites. In healthy subjects the simultaneous activation of frontal and parietal areas was observed in the paradigm with the shorter fixation interval; the increase of the fixation period produced consecutive activation of these areas. Schizophrenic patients' CNV amplitude was generally smaller than that of healthy subjects. The most pronounced between-group differences of the negative shift amplitude were revealed at frontal electrode sites during the early CNV stage in both modifications of the antisaccade task. The deficit of frontal activation revealed in patients at the early stage of antisaccade preparatory set in both antisaccadic paradigms may be related to pathogenesis of paranoid schizophrenia.