The cognitive dysfunction present in patients with schizophrenia is thought to be driven in part by disorganized connections between higher-order cortical fields. Although studies utilizing electroencephalography (EEG), PET and fMRI have contributed significantly to our understanding of these mechanisms, magnetoencephalography (MEG) possesses great potential to answer long-standing questions linking brain interactions to cognitive operations in the disorder. Many experimental paradigms employed in EEG and fMRI are readily extendible to MEG and have expanded our understanding of the neurophysiological architecture present in schizophrenia. Source reconstruction techniques, such as adaptive spatial filtering, take advantage of the spatial localization abilities of MEG, allowing us to evaluate which specific structures contribute to atypical cognition in schizophrenia. Finally, both bivariate and multivariate functional connectivity metrics of MEG data are useful for understanding how these interactions in the brain are impaired in schizophrenia, and how cognitive and clinical outcomes are affected as a result. We also present here data from our own laboratory that illustrates how some of these novel functional connectivity measures, specifically imaginary coherence (IC), are quite powerful in relating disconnectivity in the brain to characteristic behavioral findings in the disorder.
- Executive function
- Functional connectivity