Altered resting-state connectivity within default mode network associated with late chronotype

Charlotte, Mary Horne, Ray Norbury

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Current evidence suggests late chronotype individuals have an increased risk of developing depression. However, the underlying neural mechanisms of this association are not fully understood. Forty-six healthy, right-handed individuals free of current or previous diagnosis of depression, family history of depression or sleep disorder underwent resting-state functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (rsFMRI). Using an Independent Component Analysis (ICA) approach, the Default Mode Network (DMN) was identified based on a well validated template. Linear effects of chronotype on DMN connectivity were tested for significance using non-parametric permutation tests (applying 5000 permutations). Sleep quality, age, gender, measures of mood and anxiety, time of scan and cortical grey matter volume were included as covariates in the regression model. A significant positive correlation between chronotype and functional connectivity within nodes of the DMN was observed, including; bilateral PCC and precuneus, such that later chronotype (participants with lower rMEQ scores) was associated with decreased connectivity within these regions. The current results appear consistent with altered DMN connectivity in depressed patients and weighted evidence towards reduced DMN connectivity in other at-risk populations which may, in part, explain the increased vulnerability for depression in late chronotype individuals. The effect may be driven by self-critical thoughts associated with late chronotype although future studies are needed to directly investigate this.

© 2018, Elsevier. The attached document (embargoed until 20/04/2019) is an author produced version of a paper published in JOURNAL OF PSYCHIATRIC RESEARCH uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self- archiving policy. The final published version (version of record) is available online at the link below. Some minor differences between this version and the final published version may remain. We suggest you refer to the final published version should you wish to cite from it.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Psychiatric Research
Early online date20 Apr 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Apr 2018


  • Chronotype, Default Mode Network, FMRI, Depression

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