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Schizophrenia is a devastating mental disease with an apparent disruption in the highly associative default mode network (DMN). Interplay between this canonical network and others probably contributes to goal-directed behavior so its disturbance is a candidate neural fingerprint underlying schizophrenia psychopathology. Previous research has reported both hyperconnectivity and hypoconnectivity within the DMN, and both increased and decreased DMN coupling with the multimodal saliency network (SN) and dorsal attention network (DAN). This study systematically revisited network disruption in patients with schizophrenia using data-derived network atlases and multivariate pattern-learning algorithms in a multisite dataset (n = 325). Resting-state fluctuations in unconstrained brain states were used to estimate functional connectivity, and local volume differences between individuals were used to estimate structural co-occurrence within and between the DMN, SN, and DAN. In brain structure and function, sparse inverse covariance estimates of network coupling were used to characterize healthy participants and patients with schizophrenia, and to identify statistically significant group differences. Evidence did not confirm that the backbone of the DMN was the primary driver of brain dysfunction in schizophrenia. Instead, functional and structural aberrations were frequently located outside of the DMN core, such as in the anterior temporoparietal junction and precuneus. Additionally, functional covariation analyses highlighted dysfunctional DMN-DAN coupling, while structural covariation results highlighted aberrant DMN-SN coupling. Our findings reframe the role of the DMN core and its relation to canonical networks in schizophrenia. We thus underline the importance of large-scale neural interactions as effective biomarkers and indicators of how to tailor psychiatric care to single patients.

Original publication




Journal article


Human Brain Mapping

Publication Date





644 - 661