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Obesity is associated with structural and functional alterations in brain areas that are often functionally distinct and anatomically distant. This suggests that obesity is associated with differences in functional connectivity of regions distributed across the brain. However, studies addressing whole brain functional connectivity in obesity remain scarce. Here, we compared voxel-wise degree centrality and eigenvector centrality between participants with obesity (n=20) and normal-weight controls (n=21). We analyzed resting state and task-related fMRI data acquired from the same individuals. Relative to normal-weight controls, participants with obesity exhibited reduced degree centrality in the right middle frontal gyrus in the resting-state condition. During the task fMRI condition, obese participants exhibited less degree centrality in the left middle frontal gyrus and the lateral occipital cortex along with reduced eigenvector centrality in the lateral occipital cortex and occipital pole. Our results highlight the central role of the middle frontal gyrus in the pathophysiology of obesity, a structure involved in several brain circuits signaling attention, executive functions and motor functions. Additionally, our analysis suggests the existence of task-dependent reduced centrality in occipital areas; regions with a role in perceptual processes and that are profoundly modulated by attention.

Original publication

DOI

10.1016/j.pscychresns.2015.05.017

Type

Journal article

Journal

Psychiatry Res

Publication Date

30/09/2015

Volume

233

Pages

331 - 338

Keywords

Body-mass index, Brain, Functional connectivity, Graph analysis, fMRI, Adult, Attention, Brain Mapping, Female, Frontal Lobe, Humans, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Nerve Net, Obesity, Occipital Lobe, Psychomotor Performance, Rest, Young Adult