A salience network, comprising bilateral insula and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), is thought to play a role in recruiting relevant brain regions for the processing of sensory information. Here, we present a functional network connectivity (FNC) analysis of spatial networks identified during somatosensation, performed to test the hypothesis that salience network connectivity is disturbed during information processing in schizophrenia. 19 medicated individuals with schizophrenia and 19 matched healthy controls participated in a functional magnetic resonance imaging study. 100 Hz vibrotactile stimuli were presented to the right index fingertip while whole-head blood oxygenation level-dependent contrast gradient-echo echo-planar images were acquired. Six spatial components of interest were identified using group independent component analysis: (1) bilateral insula, superior temporal and precentral gyrus (INS); (2) dorsal ACC; (3) left dorsolateral frontal and parietal cortex (left central executive network (LCEN)); (4) right dorsolateral frontal and parietal cortex (RCEN); (5) ventromedial frontal cortex (FDMN); and (6) precuneus, posterior cingulate and angular gyrus (PDMN). Maximal-lagged correlation was examined between all pairwise combinations of components. Significantly reduced FNC was observed in schizophrenia compared to controls between: INS and ACC; INS and FDMN; and LCEN and PDMN. There was no evidence of increased FNC in schizophrenia. Reduced salience network connectivity during information processing in schizophrenia suggests disturbance to the system which effects changes between contextually-relevant functional brain states. This aberrance may provide a mechanistic explanation of several clinical features of the disorder.
Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.