Concurring with the shift from linking functions to specific brain areas towards studying network integration, resting state FMRI (R-FMRI) has become an important tool for delineating the functional network architecture of the brain. Fueled by straightforward data collection, R-FMRI analysis methods as well as studies reporting on R-FMRI have flourished, and already impact research on child- and adolescent psychiatric disorders. Here, we review R-FMRI analysis techniques and outline current methodological debates. Furthermore, we provide an overview of the main R-FMRI findings related to child- and adolescent psychiatric disorders. R-FMRI research has contributed significantly to our understanding of brain function in child and adolescent psychiatry: existing hypotheses based on task-based FMRI were confirmed and new insights into the brain's functional architecture of disorders were established. However, results were not always consistent. While resting state networks are robust and reproducible, neuroimaging research in psychiatric disorders is especially complicated by tremendous phenotypic heterogeneity. It is imperative that we overcome this heterogeneity when integrating neuroimaging into the diagnostic and treatment process. As R-FMRI allows investigating the richness of the human functional connectome and can be easily collected and aggregated into large-scale datasets, it is clear that R-FMRI can be a powerful tool in our quest to understand psychiatric pathology.
- Child- and adolescent psychiatry
- Functional connectivity
- Resting state FMRI