Joint Coupling of Awake EEG Frequency Activity and MRI Gray Matter Volumes in the Psychosis Dimension: A BSNIP Study

Pauline Soh, Balaji Narayanan, Sabin Khadka, Vince D. Calhoun, Matcheri S. Keshavan, Carol A. Tamminga, John A. Sweeney, Brett A. Clementz, Godfrey D. Pearlson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: Many studies have examined either electroencephalogram (EEG) frequency activity or gray matter volumes (GMV) in various psychoses [including schizophrenia (SZ), schizoaffective (SZA), and psychotic bipolar disorder (PBP)]. Prior work demonstrated similar EEG and gray matter abnormalities in both SZ and PBP. Integrating EEG and GMV and jointly analyzing the combined data fully elucidates the linkage between the two and may provide better biomarker- or endophenotype-specificity for a particular illness. Joint exploratory investigations of EEG and GMV are scarce in the literature and the relationship between the two in psychosis is even less explored. We investigated a joint multivariate model to test whether the linear relationship or linkage between awake EEG (AEEG) frequency activity and GMV is abnormal across the psychosis dimension and if such effects are also present in first-degree relatives. Methods: We assessed 607 subjects comprising 264 probands [105 SZ, 72 SZA, and 87 PBP], 233 of their first degree relatives [82 SZ relatives (SZR), 71 SZA relatives (SZAR), and 80 PBP relatives (PBPR)], and 110 healthy comparison subjects (HC). All subjects underwent structural MRI (sMRI) and EEG scans. Frequency activity and voxel-based morphometric GMV were derived from EEG and sMRI data, respectively. Seven AEEG frequency and gray matter components were extracted using Joint independent component analysis (jICA). The loading coefficients (LC) were examined for group differences using analysis of covariance. Further, the LCs were correlated with psychopathology scores to identify relationship with clinical symptoms. Results: Joint ICA revealed a single component differentiating SZ from HC (p < 0.006), comprising increased posterior alpha activity associated with decreased volume in inferior parietal lobe, supramarginal, parahippocampal gyrus, middle frontal, inferior temporal gyri, and increased volume of uncus and culmen. No components were aberrant in either PBP or SZA or any relative group. No significant association was identified with clinical symptom measures. Conclusion: Our data suggest that a joint EEG and GMV model yielded a biomarker specific to SZ, not abnormal in PBP or SZA. Alpha activity was related to both increased and decreased volume in different cortical structures. Additionally, the joint model failed to identify endophenotypes across psychotic disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number162
JournalFrontiers in Psychiatry
StatePublished - Nov 9 2015


  • EEG
  • biomarkers
  • endophenotypes
  • gray matter
  • joint independent component analysis
  • psychotic bipolar
  • schizoaffective
  • schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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