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. 2015 Aug 21;9:253-63.
doi: 10.1016/j.nicl.2015.08.010. eCollection 2015.

Assessing Brain Structural Associations With Working-Memory Related Brain Patterns in Schizophrenia and Healthy Controls Using Linked Independent Component Analysis

Free PMC article

Assessing Brain Structural Associations With Working-Memory Related Brain Patterns in Schizophrenia and Healthy Controls Using Linked Independent Component Analysis

Christine Lycke Brandt et al. Neuroimage Clin. .
Free PMC article


Schizophrenia (SZ) is a psychotic disorder with significant cognitive dysfunction. Abnormal brain activation during cognitive processing has been reported, both in task-positive and task-negative networks. Further, structural cortical and subcortical brain abnormalities have been documented, but little is known about how task-related brain activation is associated with brain anatomy in SZ compared to healthy controls (HC). Utilizing linked independent component analysis (LICA), a data-driven multimodal analysis approach, we investigated structure-function associations in a large sample of SZ (n = 96) and HC (n = 142). We tested for associations between task-positive (fronto-parietal) and task-negative (default-mode) brain networks derived from fMRI activation during an n-back working memory task, and brain structural measures of surface area, cortical thickness, and gray matter volume, and to what extent these associations differed in SZ compared to HC. A significant association (p < .05, corrected for multiple comparisons) was found between a component reflecting the task-positive fronto-parietal network and another component reflecting cortical thickness in fronto-temporal brain regions in SZ, indicating increased activation with increased thickness. Other structure-function associations across, between and within groups were generally moderate and significant at a nominal p-level only, with more numerous and stronger associations in SZ compared to HC. These results indicate a complex pattern of moderate associations between brain activation during cognitive processing and brain morphometry, and extend previous findings of fronto-temporal brain abnormalities in SZ by suggesting a coupling between cortical thickness of these brain regions and working memory-related brain activation.

Keywords: Default-mode; Fronto-parietal; Functional magnetic resonance imaging; Linked independent component analysis; Schizophrenia; Structure–function.


Fig. 1
Fig. 1
The task-positive fronto-parietal (FPN; red) and task-negative default-mode (DMN; blue) functional components from LICA (z > 3, uncorrected), and GLM-maps of activation (2-back > rest) and deactivation (rest > 2-back; z > 2, uncorrected), overlapping with functional components from LICA.
Fig. 2
Fig. 2
The task-positive fronto-parietal network (FPN) and fronto-temporal thickness (FTT) components showing a significant association in schizophrenia, from (A) the main analysis using matched smoothness across modalities, and (B) the additional analysis using less smoothing of COPE and GMV maps (3 < z < 10).

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