Prior resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) analyses have identified patterns of functional connectivity associated with hallucinations in schizophrenia (Sz). In this study, we performed an analysis of the mean amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations (ALFF) to compare resting state spontaneous low-frequency fluctuations in patients with Sz who report experiencing hallucinations impacting different sensory modalities. By exploring dynamics across 2 low-frequency passbands (slow-4 and slow-5), we assessed the impact of hallucination modality and frequency range on spatial ALFF variation. Drawing from a sample of Sz and healthy controls studied as part of the Functional Imaging Biomedical Informatics Research Network (FBIRN), we replicated prior findings showing that patients with Sz have decreased ALFF in the posterior brain in comparison to controls. Remarkably, we found that patients that endorsed visual hallucinations did not show this pattern of reduced ALFF in the back of the brain. These patients also had elevated ALFF in the left hippocampus in comparison to patients that endorsed auditory (but not visual) hallucinations. Moreover, left hippocampal ALFF across all the cases was related to reported hallucination severity in both the auditory and visual domains, and not overall positive symptoms. This supports the hypothesis that dynamic changes in the ALFF in the hippocampus underlie severity of hallucinations that impact different sensory modalities.
Keywords: ALFF; fMRI; hallucinations; hippocampus; resting-state.
Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center 2016.