Network community structure alterations in adult schizophrenia: identification and localization of alterations

Neuroimage Clin. 2015 Nov 18:10:96-106. doi: 10.1016/j.nicl.2015.11.011. eCollection 2016.


A growing body of literature suggests functional connectivity alterations in schizophrenia. While findings have been mixed, evidence points towards a complex pattern of hyper-connectivity and hypo-connectivity. This altered connectivity can be represented and analyzed using the mathematical frameworks provided by graph and information theory to represent functional connectivity data as graphs comprised of nodes and edges linking the nodes. One analytic technique in this framework is the determination and analysis of network community structure, which is the grouping of nodes into linked communities or modules. This data-driven technique finds a best-fit structure such that nodes in a given community have greater connectivity with nodes in their community than with nodes in other communities. These community structure representations have been found to recapitulate known neural-systems in healthy individuals, have been used to identify novel functional systems, and have identified and localized community structure alterations in a childhood onset schizophrenia cohort. In the present study, we sought to determine whether community structure alterations were present in an adult onset schizophrenia cohort while stringently controlling for sources of imaging artifacts. Group level average graphs in healthy controls and individuals with schizophrenia exhibited visually similar network community structures and high amounts of normalized mutual information (NMI). However, testing of individual subject community structures identified small but significant alterations in community structure with alterations being driven by changes in node community membership in the somatosensory, auditory, default mode, salience, and subcortical networks.

Keywords: Community structure; Normalized mutual information; Resting state functional connectivity; Schizophrenia; Scrubbing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain / physiopathology
  • Brain Mapping / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Information Theory
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Models, Neurological
  • Neural Pathways / physiopathology
  • Schizophrenia / physiopathology*