Brain networks in schizophrenia

Martijn P. Van Den Heuvel*, Alex Fornito

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Schizophrenia - a severe psychiatric condition characterized by hallucinations, delusions, loss of initiative and cognitive function - is hypothesized to result from abnormal anatomical neural connectivity and a consequent decoupling of the brain's integrative thought processes. The rise of in vivo neuroimaging techniques has refueled the formulation of dysconnectivity hypotheses, linking schizophrenia to abnormal structural and functional connectivity in the brain at both microscopic and macroscopic levels. Over the past few years, advances in high-field structural and functional neuroimaging techniques have made it increasingly feasible to reconstruct comprehensive maps of the macroscopic neural wiring system of the human brain, know as the connectome. In parallel, advances in network science and graph theory have improved our ability to study the spatial and topological organizational layout of such neural connectivity maps in detail. Combined, the field of neural connectomics has created a novel platform that provides a deeper understanding of the overall organization of brain wiring, its relation to healthy brain function and human cognition, and conversely, how brain disorders such as schizophrenia arise from abnormal brain network wiring and dynamics. In this review we discuss recent findings of connectomic studies in schizophrenia that examine how the disorder relates to disruptions of brain connectivity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-48
Number of pages17
JournalNeuropsychology Review
Volume24
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2014

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