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Verbal working memory and functional large-scale networks in schizophrenia

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    Rights statement: © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license

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    Licence: CC BY-NC-ND

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-96
JournalPsychiatry Research-Neuroimaging
Early online date23 Oct 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Oct 2017


The aim of this study was to test whether bilinear and nonlinear effective connectivity (EC) measures of working memory fMRI data can differentiate between patients with schizophrenia (SZ) and healthy controls (HC). We applied bilinear and nonlinear Dynamic Causal Modeling (DCM) for the analysis of verbal working memory in 16 SZ and 21 HC. The connection strengths with nonlinear modulation between the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and the ventral tegmental area/substantia nigra (VTA/SN) were evaluated. We used Bayesian Model Selection at the group and family levels to compare the optimal bilinear and nonlinear models. Bayesian Model Averaging was used to assess the connection strengths with nonlinear modulation. The DCM analyses revealed that SZ and HC used different bilinear networks despite comparable behavioral performance. In addition, the connection strengths with nonlinear modulation between the DLPFC and the VTA/SN area showed differences between SZ and HC. The adoption of different functional networks in SZ and HC indicated neurobiological alterations underlying working memory performance, including different connection strengths with nonlinear modulation between the DLPFC and the VTA/SN area. These novel findings may increase our understanding of connectivity in working memory in schizophrenia.

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