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Schizotypy dimensions are associated with altered resting state alpha connectivity

Schizotypy dimensions are associated with altered resting state alpha connectivity

Derek K Hu, Lilian Y Li, Beth A Lopour, and Elizabeth A Martin
International Journal of Psychophysiology

The disconnection hypothesis of schizophrenia says that symptoms are explained by dysfunctional connections across a wide range of brain networks. Despite some support for this hypothesis, there have been mixed findings. One reason for these may be the multidimensional nature of schizophrenia symptoms. In order to clarify the relationship between symptoms and brain networks, the current study included individuals at risk for schizophrenia-spectrum disorders who either report extreme levels of positive schizotypy traits (perceptual aberrations and magical ideation, or “PerMag”; n = 23), or an extreme negative schizotypy trait (social anhedonia, or “SocAnh”; n = 19), as well as a control group (n = 18). Resting-state alpha electroencephalography was collected, and functional networks for each subject were measured using the phase-lag index to calculate the connectivity between channel pairs based on the symmetry of instantaneous phase differences over time. Furthermore, graph theory measures were introduced to identify network features exclusive to schizotypy groups. We found that the PerMag group exhibited a smaller difference in node strength and clustering coefficient in frontal/occipital and central/occipital regional comparisons compared to controls, suggesting a more widespread network. The SocAnh group exhibited a larger difference in degree in the central/occipital regional comparison relative to controls, suggesting a localized occipital focus in the connectivity network. Regional differences in functional connectivity suggest that different schizotypy dimensions are manifested at the network level by different forms of disconnections. Taken together, these findings lend further support to the disconnection hypothesis and suggest that altered connectivity networks may serve as a potential biomarker for schizophrenia risk.

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