PSYCHIATRY RESEARCH-NEUROIMAGING, vol.321, 2022 (SCI-Expanded)
The aim of this study is to identify robust resting state-functional connectivity (rs-FC) alterations and their correlations with the neuropsychological characteristics of Ultra-High Risk (UHR) for psychosis subjects compared to healthy controls (HCs). Twenty individuals with UHR and sixteen HCs underwent resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) and a cognitive battery evaluating attention, episodic memory and executive functions. Compared to HCs, UHR individuals showed working memory and set-shifting impairments. In functional connectivity (FC) analyses, the Default Mode Network (DMN) of the UHR subjects displayed increased FC with the visual areas and decreased FC with the Dorsal Attention Network (DAN). Additionally, the salience network (SN) of the UHR subjects displayed increased connectivity with wide posterior cortical areas in the temporal, parietal and occipital lobes, corresponding to posterior nodes of the SN itself, the Somato-Motor Network (SMN) and the DAN. The SN connectivity with the left SMN and DAN was positively correlated with the Trail Making Test - B scores of the UHR subjects. These findings show that the SN and DMN, which mostly show abnormal connectivity patterns in psychosis, are also affected in UHR subjects, while the SN plays a more central role with its hyperconnectivity to the DAN and SMN.