Functional network connectivity in early-stage schizophrenia

Tom A. Hummer, Matthew G. Yung, Joaquín Goñi, Susan K. Conroy, Michael M. Francis, Nicole F. Mehdiyoun, Alan Breier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Schizophrenia is a disorder of altered neural connections resulting in impaired information integration. Whole brain assessment of within- and between-network connections may determine how information processing is disrupted in schizophrenia. Patients with early-stage schizophrenia (n = 56) and a matched control sample (n = 32) underwent resting-state fMRI scans. Gray matter regions were organized into nine distinct functional networks. Functional connectivity was calculated between 278 gray matter regions for each subject. Network connectivity properties were defined by the mean and variance of correlations of all regions. Whole-brain network measures of global efficiency (reflecting overall interconnectedness) and locations of hubs (key regions for communication) were also determined. The control sample had greater connectivity between the following network pairs: somatomotor-limbic, somatomotor-default mode, dorsal attention-default mode, ventral attention-limbic, and ventral attention-default mode. The patient sample had greater variance in interactions between ventral attention network and other functional networks. Illness duration was associated with overall increases in the variability of network connections. The control group had higher global efficiency and more hubs in the cerebellum network, while patient group hubs were more common in visual, frontoparietal, or subcortical networks. Thus, reduced functional connectivity in patients was largely present between distinct networks, rather than within-networks. The implications of these findings for the pathophysiology of schizophrenia are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107-115
Number of pages9
JournalSchizophrenia Research
StatePublished - Apr 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

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    Hummer, T. A., Yung, M. G., Goñi, J., Conroy, S. K., Francis, M. M., Mehdiyoun, N. F., & Breier, A. (2020). Functional network connectivity in early-stage schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Research, 218, 107-115.