Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Psychology, Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute


Inconsistent reports on the therapeutic efficacy of increasing synaptic glycine concentration have raised doubt as to the benefit of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAr) mediated treatments for schizophrenia. Categorising individuals based on broad diagnostic criteria does not appear to adequately identify individuals who will benefit from such treatments. Mismatch negativity (MMN) may be a suitable biomarker of NMDAr function, to help clarify the neurobiological relationship between pharmacological intervention and clinical treatment efficacy. MMN is an auditory event-related potential elicited following the presentation of a deviant stimulus, when it violates an established sequence stored in echoic memory. MMN is a robust deficit in schizophrenia and is categorised as a physiological element in the Cognitive Systems domain of the Research Domain Criteria framework. However, few studies have examined direct pharmacological modulation of MMN in schizophrenia patients. The aim of this thesis was to determine the nature of the relationship between MMN and NMDAr function, to inform the relative utility of MMN as a biomarker of NMDAr-mediated improvements in clinical symptoms in schizophrenia. To achieve this aim, three separate empirical studies were performed...



Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.