Schizophrenia, neuroimaging and connectomics

Alex Fornito, Andrew Zalesky, Christos Pantelis, Edward T Bullmore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

439 Citations (Scopus)


Schizophrenia is frequently characterized as a disorder of brain connectivity. Neuroimaging has played a central role in supporting this view, with nearly two decades of research providing abundant evidence of structural and functional connectivity abnormalities in the disorder. In recent years, our understanding of how schizophrenia affects brain networks has been greatly advanced by attempts to map the complete set of inter-regional interactions comprising the brain s intricate web of connectivity; i.e., the human connectome. Imaging connectomics refers to the use of neuroimaging techniques to generate these maps which, combined with the application of graph theoretic methods, has enabled relatively comprehensive mapping of brain network connectivity and topology in unprecedented detail. Here, we review the application of these techniques to the study of schizophrenia, focusing principally on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) research, while drawing attention to key methodological issues in the field. The published findings suggest that schizophrenia is associated with a widespread and possibly context-independent functional connectivity deficit, upon which are superimposed more circumscribed, context-dependent alterations associated with transient states of hyper- and/or hypo-connectivity. In some cases, these changes in inter-regional functional coupling dynamics can be related to measures of intra-regional dysfunction.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2296-2314
Number of pages19
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • complex
  • resting state
  • cortex
  • small world
  • DTI
  • fMRI

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