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Novel methods for measuring large-scale dynamic brain organisation are needed to provide new biomarkers of schizophrenia. Using a method for modelling dynamic modular organisation (Mucha et al., 2010), evidence suggests higher ‘flexibility’ (switching between multilayer network communities) to be a feature of schizophrenia (Braun et al., 2016). The current study compared flexibility between 55 patients with schizophrenia and 72 controls (the COBRE Dataset). In addition, novel methods of ‘between resting state network synchronisation’ (BRSNS) and the probability of transition from one community to another were used to further describe group differences in dynamic community structure. There was significantly higher schizophrenia group flexibility scores in cerebellar (F (1124) = 9.33, p (FDR) = 0.017), subcortical (F (1124) = 13.14, p (FDR) = 0.005), and fronto-parietal task control (F (1124) = 7.19, p (FDR) = 0.033) resting state networks (RSNs), as well as in the left thalamus (MNI XYZ: -2, -13, 12; F(1, 124) = 17.1, p (FDR) < 0.001) and the right crus I (MNI XYZ: 35, -67, -34; F (1, 124) = 19.65, p (FDR) < 0.001). Flexibility in the left thalamus reflected transitions between communities covering default mode and sensory-somatomotor RSNs. BRSNS scores suggested altered dynamic inter-RSN modular configuration in schizophrenia. This study suggests less stable community structure in a schizophrenia group at an RSN and node level and provides novel methods of exploring dynamic community structure. Mediation of group differences by mean time window correlation did however suggest flexibility to be no better as a schizophrenia biomarker than simpler measures and a range of methodological choices affected results.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102169
Number of pages13
JournalNeuroImage: Clinical
Issue number0
Early online date11 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jan 2020


  • Dynamic functional connectivity
  • Flexibility
  • Modularity
  • Module allegiance
  • Multilayer community detection
  • Network switching
  • Resting State fMRI
  • Schizophrenia
  • Transition matrix


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