Modulations of functional connectivity in the healthy and schizophrenia groups during task and rest

Research Area: Research Year: 2012
Type of Publication: Article Keywords: Functional connectivity; Graph theoretical analysis; Spatial dependence; Resting state; Auditory oddball task; Schizophrenia
Authors: Ma, S.; Calhoun, V.D.; Eichele, Tom; Du, W.; Adali, T.
Connectivity analysis using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data is an important area, useful for the identification of biomarkers for various mental disorders, including schizophrenia. Most studies to date have focused on resting data, while the study of functional connectivity during task and the differences between task and rest are of great interest as well. In this work, we examine the graph-theoretical properties of the connectivity maps constructed using spatial components derived from independent component analysis (ICA) for healthy controls and patients with schizophrenia during an auditory oddball task (AOD) and at extended rest. We estimate functional connectivity using the higher-order statistical dependence, i.e., mutual information among the ICA spatial components, instead of the typically used temporal correlation. We also define three novel topological metrics based on the modules of brain networks obtained using a clustering approach. Our experimental results show that although the schizophrenia patients preserve the small-world property, they present a significantly lower small-worldness during both AOD task and rest when compared to the healthy controls, indicating a consistent tendency towards a more random organization of brain networks. In addition, the task-induced modulations to topological measures of several components involving motor, cerebellum and parietal regions are altered in patients relative to controls, providing further evidence for the aberrant connectivity in schizophrenia.
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