Brain Imaging and Behavior

, Volume 13, Issue 5, pp 1220–1235 | Cite as

Altered intra- and inter-hemispheric functional dysconnectivity in schizophrenia

  • Yuan Zhang
  • Zhongxiang Dai
  • Yu Chen
  • Kang Sim
  • Yu SunEmail author
  • Rongjun YuEmail author
Original Research


Despite convergent evidence suggesting that schizophrenia is a disorder of brain dysconnectivity, it remains unclear whether intra- or inter-hemispheric deficits or their combination underlie the dysconnection. This study examined the source of the functional dysconnection in schizophrenia. Resting-state fMRI was performed in 66 patients with schizophrenia and 73 matched healthy controls. Functional brain networks were constructed for each participant and further partitioned into intra- and inter-hemispheric connections. We examined how schizophrenia altered the intra-hemispheric topological properties and the inter-hemispheric nodal strength. Although several subcortical and cingulate regions exhibited hemispheric-independent aberrations of regional efficiency, the optimal small-world properties in the hemispheric networks and their lateralization were preserved in patients. A significant deficit in the inter-hemispheric connectivity was revealed in most of the hub regions, leading to an inter-hemispheric hypo-connectivity pattern in patients. These abnormal intra- and inter-hemispheric network organizations were associated with the clinical features of schizophrenia. The patients in the present study received different medications. These findings provide new insights into the nature of dysconnectivity in schizophrenia, highlighting the dissociable processes between the preserved intra-hemispheric network topology and altered inter-hemispheric functional connectivity.


Schizophrenia Hemispheric asymmetry Inter-hemispheric connectivity Resting-state functional connectivity Graph theory 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have nothing to disclose.

Sources of support

This work was supported by Zhejiang University (“Hundred Talents Program” awarded to Y. S.), by the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (Grant no. 2018QNA5017 awarded to Y.S.), and by the Ministry of Education of Singapore (MOE2016-T2–1-015 awarded to R. Y.). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Informed consent

All procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, and the applicable revisions at the time of the investigation. Informed consent was obtained from all patients included in the study.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory for Biomedical Engineering of the Ministry of Education, Department of Biomedical EngineeringZhejiang UniversityZhejiangChina
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesStanford UniversityStanfordUSA
  3. 3.Department of Computer ScienceNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore
  4. 4.School of Computer EngineeringNanyang Technological UniversitySingaporeSingapore
  5. 5.Department of General PsychiatryInstitute of Mental HealthSingaporeSingapore
  6. 6.Department of ResearchInstitute of Mental HealthSingaporeSingapore
  7. 7.Department of PsychologyNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore
  8. 8.Graduate School for Integrative Sciences and EngineeringNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore

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