Brain connectivity in positive and negative syndrome schizophrenia

T. Medkour, A.T. Walden, A.P. Burgess, V.B. Strelets

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


If, as is widely believed, schizophrenia is characterized by abnormalities of brain functional connectivity, then it seems reasonable to expect that different subtypes of schizophrenia could be discriminated in the same way. However, evidence for differences in functional connectivity between the subtypes of schizophrenia is largely lacking and, where it exists, it could be accounted for by clinical differences between the patients (e.g. medication) or by the limitations of the measures used. In this study, we measured EEG functional connectivity in unmedicated male patients diagnosed with either positive or negative syndrome schizophrenia and compared them with age and sex matched healthy controls. Using new methodology (Medkour et al., 2009) based on partial coherence, brain connectivity plots were constructed for positive and negative syndrome patients and controls. Reliable differences in the pattern of functional connectivity were found with both syndromes showing not only an absence of some of the connections that were seen in controls but also the presence of connections that the controls did not show. Comparing connectivity graphs using the Hamming distance, the negative-syndrome patients were found to be more distant from the controls than were the positive syndrome patients. Bootstrap distributions of these distances were created which showed a significant difference in the mean distances that was consistent with the observation that negative-syndrome diagnosis is associated with a more severe form of schizophrenia. We conclude that schizophrenia is characterized by widespread changes in functional connectivity with negative syndrome patients showing a more extreme pattern of abnormality than positive syndrome patients.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1779-1788
Number of pages10
Issue number4
Early online date16 Jun 2010
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sept 2010

Bibliographical note

© 2010, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International


  • adult
  • brain
  • brain mapping
  • electroencephalography
  • humans
  • male
  • middle aged
  • neural pathways
  • schizophrenia
  • young adults


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