Atypical spontaneous activities in resting-state networks may play a role in auditory hallucinations (AHs), but networks relevant to AHs are not apparent. Given the debating role of the default mode network (DMN) in AHs, a parietal memory network (PMN) may better echo cognitive theories of AHs in schizophrenia, because PMN is spatially adjacent to the DMN and more relevant to memory processing or information integration. To examine whether PMN is more relevant to AHs than DMN, we characterized these intrinsic networks in AHs with 59 first-episode, drug-naïve schizophrenics (26 AH+ and 33 AH−) and 60 healthy participants in resting-state fMRI. We separated the PMN, DMN, and auditory network (AN) using independent component analysis, and compared their functional connectivity across the three groups. We found that only AH+ patients displayed dysconnectivity in PMN, both AH+ and AH− patients exhibited dysfunctions of AN, but neither patient group showed abnormal connectivity within DMN. The connectivity of PMN significantly correlated with memory performance of the patients. Further region-of-interest analyses confirmed that the connectivity between the core regions of PMN, the left posterior cingulate gyrus and the left precuneus, was significantly lower only in the AH+ group. In exploratory correlation analysis, this functional connectivity metric significantly correlated with the severity of AH symptoms. The results implicate that compared to the DMN, the PMN is more relevant to the AH symptoms in schizophrenia, and further provides a more precise potential brain modulation target for the intervention of AH symptoms.
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