Functional Connectivity and Individual Differences in Psychiatric Illness


The considerable heterogeneity in clinical presentation both within and across diagnostic categories is a major challenge for understanding complex mental illness. Moreover, linking such clinical diversity to the disturbances in the underlying neural systems presents a major challenge for clinical research using non-invasive functional neuroimaging. Systematically characterizing the variability in the pattern and behavior of discrete and interacting neural systems may pave the way for an understanding of mental illnesses in terms of underlying brain dysfunction both within a clinical diagnosis and in terms of shared dysfunction across diagnostic boundaries. 

Our group is collaborating the Olin Neuropsychiatry Research Center, specifically Dr. Godfrey Pearlson and Dr. David Glahn - both leaders in clinical neuroimaging. We are collaboratively attempting to better understand patterns of abnormal large-scale neural system function in schizophrenia and bipolar illness via the use of state-of-the-art functional connectivity approaches. Such efforts could lead to better development of biomarkers that are sensitive to illness risk as well as differences across psychiatric categories. This line of research has the ultimate objective of defining common and unique neural system disruptions across psychiatric illness with shared features. Our group also collaborates closely with Dr. Grega Repovs and Dr. Michael Cole. Collectively, we have been using global-based functional connectivity approaches to characterize disconnectivity in circuits confering distinct patterns of symptoms in schizophrenia.

Representative publications:

Anticevic, A., Brumbaugh, M.S., Winkler, A.M., Lombardo, L.E., Barrett, J., Corlett, P.R., Kober, H., Gruber, J., Repovs, G., Cole, M.W., Krystal, J.H., Pearlson, G.D., & Glahn, D.C. (In Press). Global prefrontal and fronto-amygdala dysconnectivity in bipolar I disorder with psychosis history. Biological Psychiatry. [PDF]

Cole, M.W., Anticevic, A., Repovs, G., & Barch, D.M. (2011).Variable global dysconnectivity and individual differences in schizophrenia. Biological Psychiatry. 70(1):43-50. [PDF]

Anticevic, A., Repovs, G., & Barch, D.M. (2011). Emotion effects on attention, amygdala activation and functional connectivity in schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Bulletin. [Epub ahead of print]. [PDF]