Using joint ICA to link function and structure using MEG and DTI in schizophrenia. Academic Article uri icon


  • In this study we employed joint independent component analysis (jICA) to perform a novel multivariate integration of magnetoencephalography (MEG) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) data to investigate the link between function and structure. This model-free approach allows one to identify covariation across modalities with different temporal and spatial scales [temporal variation in MEG and spatial variation in fractional anisotropy (FA) maps]. Healthy controls (HC) and patients with schizophrenia (SP) participated in an auditory/visual multisensory integration paradigm to probe cortical connectivity in schizophrenia. To allow direct comparisons across participants and groups, the MEG data were registered to an average head position and regional waveforms were obtained by calculating the local field power of the planar gradiometers. Diffusion tensor images obtained in the same individuals were preprocessed to provide FA maps for each participant. The MEG/FA data were then integrated using the jICA software ( We identified MEG/FA components that demonstrated significantly different (p<0.05) covariation in MEG/FA data between diagnostic groups (SP vs. HC) and three components that captured the predominant sensory responses in the MEG data. Lower FA values in bilateral posterior parietal regions, which include anterior/posterior association tracts, were associated with reduced MEG amplitude (120-170 ms) of the visual response in occipital sensors in SP relative to HC. Additionally, increased FA in a right medial frontal region was linked with larger amplitude late MEG activity (300-400 ms) in bilateral central channels for SP relative to HC. Step-wise linear regression provided evidence that right temporal, occipital and late central components were significant predictors of reaction time and cognitive performance based on the Measurement and Treatment Research to Improve Cognition in Schizophrenia (MATRICS) cognitive assessment battery. These results point to dysfunction in a posterior visual processing network in schizophrenia, with reduced MEG amplitude, reduced FA and poorer overall performance on the MATRICS. Interestingly, the spatial location of the MEG activity and the associated FA regions are spatially consistent with white matter regions that subserve these brain areas. This novel approach provides evidence for significant pairing between function (neurophysiology) and structure (white matter integrity) and demonstrates that this multivariate, multimodal integration technique is sensitive to group differences in function and structure.Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

publication date

  • December 2013