Aberrant Hyperconnectivity in the Motor System at Rest Is Linked to Motor Abnormalities in Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders.

Walther, Sebastian; Stegmayer, Katharina; Federspiel, Andrea; Bohlhalter, Stephan; Wiest, Roland; Viher, Petra (2017). Aberrant Hyperconnectivity in the Motor System at Rest Is Linked to Motor Abnormalities in Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders. Schizophrenia bulletin, 43(5), pp. 982-992. Oxford University Press 10.1093/schbul/sbx091

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Motor abnormalities are frequently observed in schizophrenia and structural alterations of the motor system have been reported. The association of aberrant motor network function, however, has not been tested. We hypothesized that abnormal functional connectivity would be related to the degree of motor abnormalities in schizophrenia. In 90 subjects (46 patients) we obtained resting stated functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) for 8 minutes 40 seconds at 3T. Participants further completed a motor battery on the scanning day. Regions of interest (ROI) were cortical motor areas, basal ganglia, thalamus and motor cerebellum. We computed ROI-to-ROI functional connectivity. Principal component analyses of motor behavioral data produced 4 factors (primary motor, catatonia and dyskinesia, coordination, and spontaneous motor activity). Motor factors were correlated with connectivity values. Schizophrenia was characterized by hyperconnectivity in 3 main areas: motor cortices to thalamus, motor cortices to cerebellum, and prefrontal cortex to the subthalamic nucleus. In patients, thalamocortical hyperconnectivity was linked to catatonia and dyskinesia, whereas aberrant connectivity between rostral anterior cingulate and caudate was linked to the primary motor factor. Likewise, connectivity between motor cortex and cerebellum correlated with spontaneous motor activity. Therefore, altered functional connectivity suggests a specific intrinsic and tonic neural abnormality in the motor system in schizophrenia. Furthermore, altered neural activity at rest was linked to motor abnormalities on the behavioral level. Thus, aberrant resting state connectivity may indicate a system out of balance, which produces characteristic behavioral alterations.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > University Psychiatric Services > University Hospital of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy > Translational Research Center
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Radiology, Neuroradiology and Nuclear Medicine (DRNN) > Institute of Diagnostic and Interventional Neuroradiology

Graduate School:

Graduate School for Health Sciences (GHS)

UniBE Contributor:

Walther, Sebastian, Stegmayer, Katharina Deborah Lena, Federspiel, Andrea, Bohlhalter, Stephan, Wiest, Roland Gerhard Rudi, Viher, Petra


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




Oxford University Press




Martin Zbinden

Date Deposited:

09 Nov 2017 12:48

Last Modified:

02 Mar 2023 23:29

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

STN basal ganglia cerebellum dysconnectivity



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