Dynamic Functional Connectivity Patterns in Schizophrenia and the Relationship With Hallucinations
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionFrontiers in Psychiatry. 2020, 11, 227. 10.3389/fpsyt.2020.00227
There is a wealth of evidence showing aberrant functional connectivity (FC) in schizophrenia but with considerable variability in findings across studies. Dynamic FC is an extension of traditional static FC, in that such analyses allow for explorations of temporal changes in connectivity. Thereby they also provide more detailed information on connectivity abnormalities in psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia. The current study investigated dynamic FC in a sample of 80 schizophrenia patients and 80 matched healthy control subjects, replicating previous findings of aberrant dwell times in specific FC states, and further supporting a role for default mode network (DMN) dysfunction. Furthermore, relationships with hallucinations, a core symptom of schizophrenia, were explored. Two measures of hallucinations were used, one measure of current hallucination severity assessed on the day of scanning, and one trait-measure where hallucinations were assessed repeatedly over the course of 1 year. Current hallucination severity did not show a significant relationship with dynamic FC. However, the trait-measure of hallucination proneness over 1 year showed a significant relationship with dynamic FC. Patients with high hallucination proneness spent less time in connectivity states characterized by strong anti-correlation between the DMN and task-positive networks. The findings support theoretical models of hallucinations which have proposed an instability of the DMN and impaired cognitive control in patients with hallucinations. Furthermore, the results point to hallucination proneness as a potential marker for identifying distinct subgroups of schizophrenia patients.