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Front. Neurosci. | doi: 10.3389/fnins.2019.00873

Decreased Cross-domain Mutual Information in Schizophrenia from Dynamic Connectivity States

  • 1School of Electrical & Computer Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, United States
  • 2Tri-Institutional Center for Translational Research in Neuroimaging and Data Science (TReNDS), Georgia State University, Georgia Institute of Technology, and Emory University, United States

The study of dynamic functional network connectivity (dFNC) has been important to understand the healthy and diseased brain. Recent developments model groups of functionally related brain structures (defined as functional domains) as entities that can send and receive information. A domain analysis starts by detecting a finite set of connectivity patterns known as domain states within each functional domain. Dynamic functional domain connectivity (DFDC) is a novel information theoretic framework for studying the temporal sequence of the domain states and the amount of information shared among domains. In this setting, the information flow among functional domains can be compared to the flow of bits among entities in a digital network. Schizophrenia is a chronic psychiatric disorder which is associated with how the brain processes information. Here we employed the DFDC framework to analyze a dataset containing resting-state fMRI scans from 163 healthy controls (HCs) and 151 schizophrenia patients (SZs). As in other information theory methods, this study measured domain state probabilities, entropy within each DFDC and the cross-domain mutual information (CDMI) between pairs of DFDC. Results indicate that SZs show significantly higher (transformed) entropy than HCs in subcortical (SC)-SC; default mode network (DMN)-visual (VIS) and frontoparietal (FRN)-VIS DFDCs. SZs also show lower (transformed) CDMI between SC-VIS vs SC-sensorimotor (SM), attention (ATTN)-VIS vs ATTN-SM and ATTN-SM vs ATTN-ATTN DFDC pairs after correcting for multiple comparisons. These results imply that different DFDC pairs function in a more independent manner in SZs compared to HCs. Our findings present evidence of higher uncertainty and randomness in SZ brain function.

Keywords: Functional network connectivity (FNC), functional domain, Independent Component Analyses (ICA), Schizophrenia, Information Theory, fMRI — functional magnetic resonance imaging

Received: 01 Mar 2019; Accepted: 02 Aug 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Salman, Vergara, Damaraju and Calhoun. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Mr. Mustafa S. Salman, School of Electrical & Computer Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, United States, esalman@gatech.edu