We estimated the correlation dimensions of EEGs in patients with schizophrenia to investigate the dynamical properties underlying the EEG. We employed a new method, proposed by Kennel et al. (Kennel MB; Brown R, Abarbanel HDI. Determining embedding dimension for phase-space reconstruction using a geometrical construction. Phys Rev A 1992,45:3403-11), to calculate the correlation dimension D2. That method determined the proper minimum embedding dimension by looking at the behaviour of nearest neighbours under a change in the embedding dimension d from d to d + 1. We demonstrated that for limited noisy data, our algorithm was strikingly faster and more accurate than previous ones. We estimated the D2 of EEGs from 16 channels in patients with schizophrenia according to DSM-IV whereas previous studies, which estimated chaoticity of EEG in schizophrenia, recorded EEG only in a limited number of channels. Schizophrenic patients had a lower correlation dimension in the left inferior frontal and anterior temporal regions compared with controls. Our finding of decreased left frontal and temporal chaotic activity in schizophrenics is in Line with the findings of a hypofrontality and hypotemporality reported in previous clinical studies such as EEG, blood flow, brain MRI and positron emission tomography studies in schizophrenia. This result suggests that chaos analysis may be a useful tool in analysing EEG data to explore the brain mechanism of schizophrenia. (C) 1999 IPEM. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.