Dysregulation of working memory and default-mode networks in schizophrenia using independent component analysis, an fBIRN and MCIC study

Hum Brain Mapp. 2009 Nov;30(11):3795-811. doi: 10.1002/hbm.20807.


Deficits in working memory (WM) are a consistent neurocognitive marker for schizophrenia. Previous studies have suggested that WM is the product of coordinated activity in distributed functionally connected brain regions. Independent component analysis (ICA) is a data-driven approach that can identify temporally coherent networks that underlie fMRI activity. We applied ICA to an fMRI dataset for 115 patients with chronic schizophrenia and 130 healthy controls by performing the Sternberg Item Recognition Paradigm. Here, we describe the first results using ICA to identify differences in the function of WM networks in schizophrenia compared to controls. ICA revealed six networks that showed significant differences between patients with schizophrenia and healthy controls. Four of these networks were negatively task-correlated and showed deactivation across the posterior cingulate, precuneus, medial prefrontal cortex, anterior cingulate, inferior parietal lobules, and parahippocampus. These networks comprise brain regions known as the default-mode network (DMN), a well-characterized set of regions shown to be active during internal modes of cognition and implicated in schizophrenia. Two networks were positively task-correlated, with one network engaging WM regions such as bilateral DLPFC and inferior parietal lobules while the other network engaged primarily the cerebellum. Our results suggest that DLPFC dysfunction in schizophrenia might be lateralized to the left and intrinsically tied to other regions such as the inferior parietal lobule and cingulate gyrus. Furthermore, we found that DMN dysfunction in schizophrenia exists across multiple subnetworks of the DMN and that these subnetworks are individually relevant to the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. In summary, this large multisite study identified multiple temporally coherent networks, which are aberrant in schizophrenia versus healthy controls and suggests that both task-correlated and task-anticorrelated networks may serve as potential biomarkers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation / methods
  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Brain / blood supply
  • Brain / physiopathology*
  • Brain Mapping
  • Discriminant Analysis
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Male
  • Memory Disorders / etiology*
  • Memory, Short-Term / physiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Neurological*
  • Neural Pathways / blood supply
  • Neural Pathways / physiopathology
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Oxygen / blood
  • Prefrontal Cortex / blood supply
  • Prefrontal Cortex / physiopathology*
  • Principal Component Analysis
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Reaction Time / physiology
  • Schizophrenia / complications*
  • Young Adult


  • Oxygen