Schizophrenia shows disrupted links between brain volume and dynamic functional connectivity

Anees Abrol, Barnaly Rashid, Srinivas Rachakonda, Eswar Damaraju, Vince D. Calhoun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Studies featuring multimodal neuroimaging data fusion for understanding brain function and structure, or disease characterization, leverage the partial information available in each of the modalities to reveal data variations not exhibited through the independent analyses. Similar to other complex syndromes, the characteristic brain abnormalities in schizophrenia may be better understood with the help of the additional information conveyed by leveraging an advanced modeling method involving multiple modalities. In this study, we propose a novel framework to fuse feature spaces corresponding to functional magnetic resonance imaging (functional) and gray matter (structural) data from 151 schizophrenia patients and 163 healthy controls. In particular, the features for the functional and structural modalities include dynamic (i.e., time-varying) functional network connectivity (dFNC) maps and the intensities of the gray matter (GM) maps, respectively. The dFNC maps are estimated from group independent component analysis (ICA) network time-courses by first computing windowed functional correlations using a sliding window approach, and then estimating subject specific states from this windowed data using temporal ICA followed by spatio-temporal regression. For each subject, the functional data features are horizontally concatenated with the corresponding GM features to form a combined feature space that is subsequently decomposed through a symmetric multimodal fusion approach involving a combination of multiset canonical correlation analysis (mCCA) and joint ICA (jICA). Our novel combined analyses successfully linked changes in the two modalities and revealed significantly disrupted links between GM volumes and time-varying functional connectivity in schizophrenia. Consistent with prior research, we found significant group differences in GM comprising regions in the superior parietal lobule, precuneus, postcentral gyrus, medial/superior frontal gyrus, superior/middle temporal gyrus, insula and fusiform gyrus, and several significant aberrations in the inter-regional functional connectivity strength as well. Importantly, structural and dFNC measures have independently shown changes associated with schizophrenia, and in this work we begin the process of evaluating the links between the two, which could shed light on the illness beyond what we can learn from a single imaging modality. In future work, we plan to evaluate replication of the inferred structure-function relationships in independent partitions of larger multi-modal schizophrenia datasets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number624
JournalFrontiers in Neuroscience
Issue numberNOV
StatePublished - Nov 7 2017


  • Dynamic functional connectivity
  • Gray matter
  • Joint ICA
  • MCCA
  • Multimodal fusion
  • Schizophrenia
  • Structure-function relationship

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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