Social brain network correlates with real-life social network in individuals with schizophrenia and social anhedonia

Schizophr Res. 2021 Jun;232:77-84. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2021.05.016. Epub 2021 May 24.


Social behaviour requires the brain to efficiently integrate multiple social processes, but it is not clear what neural substrates underlie general social behaviour. While psychosis patients and individuals with subclinical symptoms are characterized by social dysfunction, the neural mechanisms underlying social dysfunctions in schizophrenia spectrum disorders remains unclear. We first constructed a general social brain network (SBN) using resting-state functional connectivity (FC) with regions of interest based on the automatic meta-analysis results from NeuroSynth. We then examined the general SBN and its relationship with social network (SN) characteristics in 30 individuals with schizophrenia (SCZ) and 33 individuals with social anhedonia (SA). We found that patients with SCZ exhibited deficits in their SN, while SA individuals did not. SCZ patients showed decreased segregation and functional connectivity in their SBN, while SA individuals showed a reversed pattern with increased segregation and functional connectivity of their SBN. Sparse canonical correlation analysis showed that both SCZ patients and SA individuals exhibited reduced correlation between SBN and SN characteristics compared with their corresponding healthy control groups. These preliminary findings suggest that both SCZ and SA participants exhibit abnormality in segregation and functional connectivity within the general SBN and reduced correlation with SN characteristics. These findings could guide the development of non-pharmacological interventions for social dysfunction in SCZ spectrum disorders.

Keywords: Network analysis; Schizophrenia; Social anhedonia; Social brain network; Social network.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anhedonia
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Schizophrenia*
  • Social Networking