Psychotic disorders, dopaminergic agents and EEG/MEG resting-state functional connectivity: A systematic review

Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2021 Jan;120:354-371. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2020.10.021. Epub 2020 Nov 7.


Both dysconnectivity and dopamine hypotheses are two well researched pathophysiological models of psychosis. However, little is known about the association of dopamine dysregulation with brain functional connectivity in psychotic disorders, specifically through the administration of antipsychotic medication. In this systematic review, we summarize the existing evidence on the association of dopaminergic effects with electro- and magnetoencephalographic (EEG/MEG) resting-state brain functional connectivity assessed by sensor- as well as source-level measures. A wide heterogeneity of results was found amongst the 20 included studies with increased and decreased functional connectivity in medicated psychosis patients vs. healthy controls in widespread brain areas across all frequency bands. No systematic difference in results was seen between studies with medicated and those with unmedicated psychosis patients and very few studies directly investigated the effect of dopamine agents with a pre-post design. The reported evidence clearly calls for longitudinal EEG and MEG studies with large participant samples to directly explore the association of antipsychotic medication effects with neural network changes over time during illness progression and to ultimately support the development of new treatment strategies.

Keywords: Antipsychotics; Coherence; Dopamine; EEG; Electroencephalography; Functional connectivity; MEG; Magnetencephalography; Medication; Neuroleptics; Psychosis; Psychotic disorders; Resting-state; Schizophrenia; Sensor-level; Source-level; Synchronisation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain Mapping
  • Dopamine Agents
  • Electroencephalography
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Magnetoencephalography*
  • Psychotic Disorders* / drug therapy


  • Dopamine Agents