Resting-state fMRI dynamic functional network connectivity and associations with psychopathy traits

Flor A. Espinoza, Nathaniel E. Anderson, Victor M. Vergara, Carla L. Harenski, Jean Decety, Srinivas Rachakonda, Eswar Damaraju, Michael Koenigs, David S. Kosson, Keith Harenski, Vince D. Calhoun, Kent A. Kiehl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Studies have used resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) to examine associations between psychopathy and brain connectivity in selected regions of interest as well as networks covering the whole-brain. One of the limitations of these approaches is that brain connectivity is modeled as a constant state through the scan duration. To address this limitation, we apply group independent component analysis (GICA) and dynamic functional network connectivity (dFNC) analysis to uncover whole-brain, time-varying functional network connectivity (FNC) states in a large forensic sample. We then examined relationships between psychopathic traits (PCL-R total scores, Factor 1 and Factor 2 scores) and FNC states obtained from dFNC analysis. FNC over the scan duration was better represented by five states rather than one state previously shown in static FNC analysis. Consistent with prior findings, psychopathy was associated with networks from paralimbic regions (amygdala and insula). In addition, whole-brain FNC identified 15 networks from nine functional domains (subcortical, auditory, sensorimotor, cerebellar, visual, salience, default mode network, executive control and attentional) related to psychopathy traits (Factor 1 and PCL-R scores). Results also showed that individuals with higher Factor 1 scores (affective and interpersonal traits) spend more time in a state with weaker connectivity overall, and changed states less frequently compared to those with lower Factor 1 scores. On the other hand, individuals with higher Factor 2 scores (impulsive and antisocial behaviors) showed more dynamism (changes to and from different states) than those with lower scores.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101970
JournalNeuroImage: Clinical
StatePublished - 2019


  • Dynamic functional network connectivity
  • Group independent component analysis
  • K-means clustering
  • Psychopathy
  • Resting-state fMRI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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