Commentary| Volume 90, ISSUE 6, P359-361, September 15, 2021

Hearing the Shape of a Drum: Clinical Outcome Prediction in Participants at Clinical High-Risk for Psychosis With the 40-Hz Auditory Steady-State Response Paradigm

  • Jose A. Cortes-Briones
    Address correspondence to Jose A. Cortes-Briones, Ph.D.
    Schizophrenia and Neuropharmacology Research Group, VA Connecticut Healthcare System, West Haven, Connecticut
    Abraham Ribicoff Research Facilities, Connecticut Mental Health Center, New Haven, Connecticut
    Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut
    Search for articles by this author
      In the 1960s, mathematicians Mark Kac and Lipman Bers asked, “Can one hear the shape of a drum?” Put another way, can one infer the structural properties of a system from its oscillatory response to stimulation? While it has been demonstrated that there is no singular solution to this question when the system is completely unknown, the information-rich oscillatory response of a system that is partially known can be used to infer a trove of structural and dynamical properties. If a periodic force is applied to a system at one of its resonant frequencies, the amplitude of the resulting vibrations (oscillations) will have a local maximum (resonance state). Since the resonance state is a function of a system’s properties (e.g., stiffness), the analysis of the system’s oscillations during resonance has been widely used to assess the structural integrity of physical systems (
      • Adams R.
      • Cawley P.
      • Pye C.
      • Stone B.
      A vibration technique for non-destructively assessing the integrity of structures.
      ). For example, by analyzing the oscillatory response of a steel beam to vibrations applied at its resonant frequencies (resonance test), it is possible to detect and localize incipient, visually undetectable cracks that, under shear stress, will cause breakage.
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