Aberrant fronto-striatal connectivity and fine motor function in schizophrenia

Petra V. Viher, Lise Docx, Wim Van Hecke, Paul M. Parizel, Bernard Sabbe, Andrea Federspiel, Sebastian Walther, Manuel Morrens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Abnormal fine motor function is a frequent finding in schizophrenia and has been linked to structural and functional brain alterations. However, whether fine motor function is related to functional alterations within the motor system remains unclear. The aim of this study was to assess whether abnormalities in resting-state functional connectivity are present in schizophrenia patients and to investigate how these abnormalities may be related to fine motor function. We examined 19 schizophrenia patients and 16 healthy controls using resting-state functional connectivity for 11 bilateral regions of interest. Fine motor function was assessed on a set of copying tasks and the Symbol-Digit-Substitution Test. We found significantly reduced functional connectivity between the left caudate nucleus and bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and between the left putamen and bilateral supplementary motor area (SMA) proper in patients compared to controls. Altered connectivity from DLPFC to caudate nucleus was related to fine motor tasks, which are sensitive to psychomotor speed, whereas aberrant connectivity between the SMA proper and putamen was associated to both, fine motor task, which are sensitive to psychomotor speed and to speed of information processing. Our findings emphasize the role of fronto-striatal connections in the pathogenesis of fine motor impairments in schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-50
Number of pages7
JournalPsychiatry Research: Neuroimaging
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2019
Externally publishedYes


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