Bänninger, Anja; Rieger, Kathryn; Diaz, Laura; Ford, Judith M.; Kottlow, Mara; König, Thomas (2016). Inefficient Preparatory fMRI-BOLD Network Activations Predict Working Memory Dysfunctions in Patients with Schizophrenia. Frontiers in psychiatry, 7(29) Frontiers 10.3389/fpsyt.2016.00029
Baenninger et al_2016_Inefficient preparatory fMRI Bold networks activations predict WM dysfunctions in patients with SZ.pdf - Published Version
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Patients with schizophrenia show abnormal dynamics and structure of temporally coherent networks (TCNs) assessed using fMRI, which undergo adaptive shifts in preparation for a cognitively demanding task. During working memory (WM) tasks, patients with schizophrenia show persistent deficits in TCNs as well as EEG indices of WM. Studying their temporal relationship during WM tasks might provide novel insights into WM performance deficits seen in schizophrenia. Simultaneous EEG-fMRI data were acquired during the performance of a verbal Sternberg WM task with two load levels (load 2 and load 5) in 17 patients with schizophrenia and 17 matched healthy controls. Using covariance mapping, we investigated the relationship of the activity in the TCNs before the memoranda were encoded and EEG spectral power during the retention interval. We assessed four TCNs – default mode network (DMN), dorsal attention network (dAN), left and right working memory networks (WMNs) – and three EEG bands – theta, alpha, and beta. In healthy controls, there was a load-dependent inverse relation between DMN and frontal midline theta power and an anti-correlation between DMN and dAN. Both effects were not significantly detectable in patients. In addition, healthy controls showed a left-lateralized load-dependent recruitment of the WMNs. Activation of the WMNs was bilateral in patients, suggesting more resources were recruited for successful performance on the WM task. Our findings support the notion of schizophrenia patients showing deviations in their neurophysiological responses before the retention of relevant information in a verbal WM task. Thus, treatment strategies as neurofeedback targeting prestates could be beneficial as task performance relies on the preparatory state of the brain.