Nonlinear complexity analysis of brain fMRI signals in schizophrenia


We investigated the differences in brain fMRI signal complexity in patients with schizophrenia while performing the Cyberball social exclusion task, using measures of Sample entropy and Hurst exponent (H). 13 patients meeting diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition (DSM IV) criteria for schizophrenia and 16 healthy controls underwent fMRI scanning at 1.5 T. The fMRI data of both groups of participants were pre-processed, the entropy characterized and the Hurst exponent extracted. Whole brain entropy and H maps of the groups were generated and analysed. The results after adjusting for age and sex differences together show that patients with schizophrenia exhibited higher complexity than healthy controls, at mean whole brain and regional levels. Also, both Sample entropy and Hurst exponent agree that patients with schizophrenia have more complex fMRI signals than healthy controls. These results suggest that schizophrenia is associated with more complex signal patterns when compared to healthy controls, supporting the increase in complexity hypothesis, where system complexity increases with age or disease, and also consistent with the notion that schizophrenia is characterised by a dysregulation of the nonlinear dynamics of underlying neuronal systems.


Open access journal. The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link


cyberball task, complexity, entropy, fMRI, Hurst exponent, schizophrenia


Sokunbi, M.O., Gradin, V.B., Waiter, G.D., Cameron, G.G., Ahearn, T.S., Murray, A.D., Steele, D.J. and Staff, R.T. (2014) Nonlinear Complexity Analysis of Brain fMRI Signals in Schizophrenia. PLoS ONE 9(5).


Research Institute

Institute for Allied Health Sciences Research