Global brain asymmetry is increased in schizophrenia and related to avolition

C. Núñez, N. Paipa, C. Senior, M. Coromina, S. Siddi, S. Ochoa, G. Brébion, C. Stephan-Otto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Schizophrenia may be the result of a failure of the normal lateralization process of the brain. However, whole-brain asymmetry has not been assessed up to date. Here we propose a novel measure of global brain asymmetry based on the Dice coefficient in order to quantify similarity between brain hemispheres.
Method: Global gray and white matter asymmetry was calculated from high-resolution T1 structural images acquired from 24 patients with schizophrenia and 26 healthy controls, age- and sex-matched. Some of the analyses were replicated in a much larger sample (n = 759) obtained from open-access online databases.
Results: Patients with schizophrenia had more global gray matter asymmetry than controls. Additionally, increased gray matter asymmetry was associated with avolition, whereas the inverse relationship was found for anxiety. These analyses were replicated in a larger sample and confirmed previous results.
Conclusion: Our findings suggest that global gray matter asymmetry is related to the concept of developmental stability and is a useful indicator of perturbations during neurodevelopment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)448-459
JournalActa Psychiatrica Scandinavica
Issue number5
Early online date23 Mar 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2017

Bibliographical note

This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Acta Psychiatr Scand 2017: 1–12 , which has been published in final form at DOI: 10.1111/acps.12723. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving


  • schizophrenia
  • neuroimaging
  • neurodevelopmental


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