Abnormal connectivity in the sensorimotor network predicts attention deficits in traumatic brain injury

Elena Shumskaya, Marcel A.J. van Gerven, David G. Norris, Pieter E. Vos, Roy P.C. Kessels*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)
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The aim of this study was to explore modifications of functional connectivity in multiple resting-state networks (RSNs) after moderate to severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) and evaluate the relationship between functional connectivity patterns and cognitive abnormalities. Forty-three moderate/severe TBI patients and 34 healthy controls (HC) underwent resting-state fMRI. Group ICA was applied to identify RSNs. Between-subject analysis was performed using dual regression. Multiple linear regressions were used to investigate the relationship between abnormal connectivity strength and neuropsychological outcome. Forty (93%) TBI patients showed moderate disability, while 2 (5%) and 1 (2%) upper severe disability and low good recovery, respectively. TBI patients performed worse than HC on the domains attention and language. We found increased connectivity in sensorimotor, visual, default mode (DMN), executive, and cerebellar RSNs after TBI. We demonstrated an effect of connectivity in the sensorimotor RSN on attention (p < 10−3) and a trend towards a significant effect of the DMN connectivity on attention (p = 0.058). A group-by-network interaction on attention was found in the sensorimotor network (p = 0.002). In TBI, attention was positively related to abnormal connectivity within the sensorimotor RSN, while in HC this relation was negative. Our results show altered patterns of functional connectivity after TBI. Attention impairments in TBI were associated with increased connectivity in the sensorimotor network. Further research is needed to test whether attention in TBI patients is directly affected by changes in functional connectivity in the sensorimotor network or whether the effect is actually driven by changes in the DMN.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)799-807
Number of pages9
JournalExperimental brain research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2017


  • Functional connectivity
  • Independent component analysis
  • Neuropsychology
  • Resting-state fMRI
  • Traumatic brain injury


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