Functional Connectivity in First Episode Schizophrenia and its Relationship to Attention Task Performance, Symptoms and Functioning.

Poster B50, Friday, October 21, 11:30 am - 1:00 pm, Le Baron

Anthony W. F. Harris1,2, Annie M. Brennan1,2, Mayuresh S. Korgaonkar1,2, Leanne M. Williams1,2,3; 1Brain Dynamics Centre, Sydney Medical School and Westmead Institute, University of Sydney at Westmead, NSW, Australia., 2Discipline of Psychiatry, Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney, Australia., 3Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA.

Dysfunctional brain connectivity is often considered to underlie the core cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia. The Continuous Performance Test (CPT) is widely used as a measure of attention in schizophrenia, but is rarely used in the field of neuroimaging. This is the first study to examine attention-driven functional dysconnectivity using the CPT in first episode schizophrenia (FES). FES participants (n=22) and matched controls (n=22) completed a standardised clinical, cognitive and psychophysiological battery in collaboration with the Brain Resource International Database (scientific access; Functional magnetic resonance imaging data from the CPT were examined for differences between groups in i) regional activations for dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), inferior parietal cortex, temporal cortex, ACC, thalamus, and cerebellum and ii) functional connectivity differences between the DLPFC and the rest of the brain using psychophysical interaction analyses. Connectivity differences were examined for relationships with symptoms and task performance. Despite no differences in regional activation, we found that both FES and controls showed connectivity to the medial orbitofrontal cortex (involved in decision making based on the relevance of a stimulus), but FES had increased connectivity to the dorsal ACC, as well as decreased connectivity to the inferior parietal cortex. These group differences were only weakly related to task performance for the dorsal ACC and not at all for symptoms. These results suggest that functional connectivity during the CPT is altered in FES, but does not strongly relate to task performance or symptoms.

Topic Area: Neuroimaging

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