Altered brain connectivity in patients with schizophrenia is consistent across cognitive contexts

Pierre Orban, Martin Desseilles, Adrianna Mendrek, Josiane Bourque, Pierre Bellec, Emmanuel Stip

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Schizophrenia has been defined as a dysconnection syndrome characterized by aberrant functional brain connectivity. Using task-based fMRI, we assessed to what extent the nature of the cognitive context may further modulate abnormal functional brain connectivity. Methods: We analyzed data matched for motion in patients with schizophrenia and healthy controls who performed 3 different tasks. Tasks 1 and 2 both involved emotional processing and only slighlty differed (incidental encoding v. memory recognition), whereas task 3 was a much different mental rotation task. We conducted a connectome-wide general linear model analysis aimed at identifying context-dependent and independent functional brain connectivity alterations in patients with schizophrenia. Results: After matching for motion, we included 30 patients with schizophrenia and 30 healthy controls in our study. Abnormal connectivity in patients with schizophrenia followed similar patterns regardless of the degree of similarity between cognitive tasks. Decreased connectivity was most notable in the medial prefrontal cortex, the anterior and posterior cingulate, the temporal lobe, the lobule IX of the cerebellum and the premotor cortex. Limitations: A more circumscribed yet significant context-dependent effect might be detected with larger sample sizes or cognitive domains other than emotional and visuomotor processing. Conclusion: The context-independence of functional brain dysconnectivity in patients with schizophrenia provides a good justification for pooling data from multiple experiments in order to identify connectivity biomarkers of this mental illness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-26
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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