Altered Temporal Variability of Local and Large-Scale Resting-State Brain Functional Connectivity Patterns in Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder

Yicheng LONG, Zhening LIU, Calais Kin Yuen CHAN, Guowei WU, Zhimin XUE, Yunzhi PAN, Xudong CHEN, Xiaojun HUANG, Dan LI*, Weidan PU

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder share some common clinical features and are both characterized by aberrant resting-state functional connectivity (FC). However, little is known about the common and specific aberrant features of the dynamic FC patterns in these two disorders. In this study, we explored the differences in dynamic FC among schizophrenia patients (n = 66), type I bipolar disorder patients (n = 53), and healthy controls (n = 66), by comparing temporal variabilities of FC patterns involved in specific brain regions and large-scale brain networks. Compared with healthy controls, both patient groups showed significantly increased regional FC variabilities in subcortical areas including the thalamus and basal ganglia, as well as increased inter-network FC variability between the thalamus and sensorimotor areas. Specifically, more widespread changes were found in the schizophrenia group, involving increased FC variabilities in sensorimotor, visual, attention, limbic and subcortical areas at both regional and network levels, as well as decreased regional FC variabilities in the default-mode areas. The observed alterations shared by schizophrenia and bipolar disorder may help to explain their overlapped clinical features; meanwhile, the schizophrenia-specific abnormalities in a wider range may support that schizophrenia is associated with more severe functional brain deficits than bipolar disorder. Together, these findings highlight the potentials of using dynamic FC as an objective biomarker for the monitoring and diagnosis of either schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.

Original languageEnglish
Article number422
Number of pages11
JournalFrontiers in Psychiatry
Publication statusPublished - 12 May 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Zhong He (Department of Radiology of Second Xiangya Hospital, Central South University) for his assistance in rs-fMRI data acquisition. This manuscript has been released as a pre-print at bioRxiv (69).

Supplementary Material:
The Supplementary Material for this article can be found online at:

Funding Information:
This research was funded by the China Precision Medicine Initiative (grant number 2016YFC0906300) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant numbers 81561168021, 81671335, 81701325).

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright © 2020 Long, Liu, Chan, Wu, Xue, Pan, Chen, Huang, Li and Pu.


  • basal ganglia
  • bipolar disorder
  • dynamic functional connectivity
  • schizophrenia
  • sensorimotor
  • thalamus


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