New techniques to investigate functional network connectivity in resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging data have recently emerged. One novel approach, called meta-state analysis, goes beyond the mere cross-correlation of time courses of distinct brain areas and explores temporal dynamism in more detail, allowing for connectivity states to overlap in time and capturing global dynamic behavior. Previous studies have shown that patients with chronic schizophrenia exhibit reduced neural dynamism compared to healthy controls, but it is not known whether these alterations extend to earlier phases of the illness. In this study, we analyzed individuals at clinical high-risk (CHR, n = 53) for developing psychosis, patients in an early stage of schizophrenia (ESZ, n = 58), and healthy controls (HC, n = 70). ESZ individuals exhibit reduced neural dynamism across all domains compared to HC. CHR individuals also show reduced neural dynamism but only in 2 out of 4 domains investigated. Overall, meta-state analysis adds information about dynamic fluidity of functional connectivity.
Keywords: Functional connectivity; Group independent component analysis; Meta-state analysis; Psychosis risk; Resting-state fMRI.
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