Dynamic functional connectivity reveals altered variability in functional connectivity among patients with major depressive disorder

Hum Brain Mapp. 2016 Aug;37(8):2918-30. doi: 10.1002/hbm.23215. Epub 2016 Apr 28.


Resting-state fMRI (RS-fMRI) has become a useful tool to investigate the connectivity structure of mental health disorders. In the case of major depressive disorder (MDD), recent studies regarding the RS-fMRI have found abnormal connectivity in several regions of the brain, particularly in the default mode network (DMN). Thus, the relevance of the DMN to self-referential thoughts and ruminations has made the use of the resting-state approach particularly important for MDD. The majority of such research has relied on the grand averaged functional connectivity measures based on the temporal correlations between the BOLD time series of various brain regions. We, in our study, investigated the variations in the functional connectivity over time at global and local level using RS-fMRI BOLD time series of 27 MDD patients and 27 healthy control subjects. We found that global synchronization and temporal stability were significantly increased in the MDD patients. Furthermore, the participants with MDD showed significantly increased overall average (static) functional connectivity (sFC) but decreased variability of functional connectivity (vFC) within specific networks. Static FC increased to predominance among the regions pertaining to the default mode network (DMN), while the decreased variability of FC was observed in the connections between the DMN and the frontoparietal network. Hum Brain Mapp 37:2918-2930, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Keywords: dynamic functional connectivity; fMRI; major depressive disorder; mood disorders; resting state.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain / physiopathology*
  • Brain Mapping
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neural Pathways / physiopathology*
  • Rest / physiology