Empirical studies over the past two decades have supported the hypothesis that schizophrenia is characterized by altered connectivity patterns in functional brain networks. These alterations have been proposed as genetically-mediated diagnostic biomarkers and are thought to underlie altered cognitive functions such as working memory. In this study, we perform an extensive analysis of functional connectivity patterns extracted from MEG data in 14 subjects with schizophrenia and 14 healthy controls during a 2-back working memory task. We investigate uni-, bi- and multivariate properties of sensor time series by computing wavelet entropy of and correlation between time series, and by constructing binary networks of functional connectivity both within and between classical frequency bands (gamma, beta, alpha, and theta). Networks are based on the mutual information between wavelet time series, and estimated for 66 separate time windows. We observed decreases in entropy in prefrontal and lateral sensor time series and increases in connectivity strength in the schizophrenia group in comparison to the healthy controls. We identified an inverse relationship between entropy and strength across both subjects and sensors that varied over frequency bands and was more pronounced in controls than in patients. Brain network topology was altered in schizophrenia specifically in high frequency gamma and beta band networks as well as in the gamma-beta cross-frequency networks. Network topology varied over trials to a greater extent in patients than in controls, suggesting disease-associated alterations in dynamic network properties of brain function. Our results identify signatures of aberrant neurophysiological behavior in schizophrenia across uni-, bi- and multivariate scales and identify cross-frequency network architecture and network dynamics as candidate intermediate phenotypes.
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