Central executive network in young people with familial risk for psychosis--the Oulu Brain and Mind Study

Schizophr Res. 2015 Feb;161(2-3):177-83. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2014.11.003. Epub 2014 Nov 22.


Objective: The central executive network controls and manages high-level cognitive functions. Abnormal activation in the central executive network has been related to psychosis and schizophrenia but it is not established how this applies to people with familial risk for psychosis (FR).

Methods: We conducted a resting-state functional MRI (R-fMRI) in 72 (29 males) young adults with a history of psychosis in one or both parents (FR) but without psychosis themselves, and 72 (29 males) similarly healthy control subjects without parental psychosis. Both groups in the Oulu Brain and Mind Study were drawn from the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1986. Participants were 20-25years old. Parental psychosis was established using the Care Register for Health Care. R-fMRI data pre-processing was conducted using independent component analysis with 30 and 70 components. A dual regression technique was used to detect between-group differences in the central executive network with p<0.05 threshold corrected for multiple comparisons.

Results: FR participants demonstrated statistically significantly lower activity compared to control subjects in the right inferior frontal gyrus, a key area of central executive network corresponding to Brodmann areas 44 and 45, known as Broca's area. The volume of the lower activation area with 30 components was 896mm(3) and with 70 components was 1151mm(3).

Conclusion: The activity of the central executive network differed in the right inferior frontal gyrus between FR and control groups. This suggests that abnormality of the right inferior frontal gyrus may be a central part of vulnerability for psychosis.

Keywords: CEN; Genetic; Psychosis; R-fMRI; Resting state; Schizophrenia; rIFG.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain / blood supply*
  • Brain Mapping
  • Cognition Disorders* / complications
  • Cognition Disorders* / pathology
  • Cognition Disorders* / psychology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Executive Function / physiology*
  • Family Health*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Oxygen / blood
  • Psychotic Disorders / complications*
  • Psychotic Disorders / pathology*
  • Schizophrenia / pathology
  • Schizophrenic Psychology
  • Young Adult


  • Oxygen