Metacognition is a term that refers to the act of thinking about thinking. The self-reflective aspect of metacognition specifically, has been shown to be impaired in patients diagnosed with schizophrenia. The Default Mode Network (DMN) is a set of cortical regions that demonstrate coordinated activation during the resting state of the brain. The DMN has been linked with various aspects of self-awareness and has been hypothesized as a possible source of dysfunction in patients diagnosed with schizophrenia. The current study bridged these findings by using electrophysiological measures to investigate the neural basis of self-reflectivity in a psychiatric group. A Repeated Measures ANOVA with a between-subjects factor of group (healthy controls and the psychiatric group) and within-subjects factors of task (resting-state EEG and self-referential resting-state EEG) and region (frontal and central) was used to evaluate group differences between healthy controls and the psychiatric group, for each frequency band and task at frontal and central electrode sites separately. Of the 13 participants, the majority identified as Caucasian (38.5%) and female (53.8%), with a mean age of 33.60 for the healthy control group (SD = 15.27) and 37.63 for the psychiatric group (SD = 11.22). A main effect of group was found in the theta frequency band, indicating that the psychiatric group showed increased theta activity compared to healthy controls during resting-state EEG. There were no significant group by task interactions. Analyses also revealed a significant, strong positive correlation between MAS-A ratings of self-reflectivity and beta frequency band activity in the central region during self-referential resting-state EEG for healthy control participants. Lastly, analyses revealed a statistically significant, strong negative correlation between MAS-A ratings of self-reflectivity and theta frequency band activity in the central region during resting-state EEG for the psychiatric group. Continued research using electrophysiological measures to investigate the neural basis of self-reflectivity in patients diagnosed with schizophrenia is vital to increasing their ability to engage effectively in treatment and create the insight needed to view themselves as an active participant in their own families and communities.
School of Behavioral Health
David A. Vermeersch
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Year Degree Awarded
Date (Title Page)
Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings
Electroencephalography; Metacognition; Psychosis; Reflectiveness; Schizophrenia; Self-Reference; Theta Rhythm; Default Mode Network
Loma Linda University Libraries
This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.
Heavrin, Britan M., "An Examination of the Neural Basis of Self-Reflectivity in Schizophrenia" (2020). Loma Linda University Electronic Theses, Dissertations & Projects. 1658.
Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives