Whole-brain source-reconstructed MEG-data reveal reduced long-range synchronization in chronic schizophrenia

Jonni Hirvonen, Michael Wibral, J. Matias Palva, Wolf Singer, Peter Uhlhaas, Satu Palva*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Current theories of schizophrenia (ScZ) posit that the symptoms and cognitive dysfunctions arise from a dysconnection syndrome. However, studies that have examined this hypothesis with physiological data at realistic time scales are so far scarce. The current study employed a state-of-the-art approach using Magnetoencephalography (MEG) to test alterations in large-scale phase synchronization in a sample of n _ 16 chronic ScZ patients, 10 males and n _ 19 healthy participants, 10 males, during a perceptual closure task. We identified large-scale networks from source reconstructed MEG data using data-driven analyses of neuronal synchronization. Oscillation amplitudes and interareal phase-synchronization in the 3–120 Hz frequency range were estimated for 400 cortical parcels and correlated with clinical symptoms and neuropsychological scores. ScZ patients were characterized by a reduction in _-band (30–120 Hz) oscillation amplitudes that was accompanied by a pronounced deficit in large-scale synchronization at γ-band frequencies. Synchronization was reduced within visual regions as well as between visual and frontal cortex and the reduction of synchronization correlated with elevated clinical disorganization. Accordingly, these data highlight that ScZ is associated with a profound disruption of transient synchronization, providing critical support for the notion that core aspect of the pathophysiology arises from an impairment in coordination of distributed neural activity.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0338-17.2017
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • MEG
  • Oscillation
  • Perception
  • Schizophrenia
  • Synchronization


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