Contrasting variability patterns in the default mode and sensorimotor networks balance in bipolar depression and mania

Matteo Martino, Paola Magioncalda, Zirui Huang, Benedetta Conio, Niccolò Piaggio, Niall-William Duncan, Giulio Rocchi, Andrea Escelsior, Valentina Marozzi, Annemarie Wolff, Matilde Inglese, Mario Amore, Georg Northoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

164 Citations (Scopus)


Depressive and manic phases in bipolar disorder show opposite constellations of affective, cognitive, and psychomotor symptoms. At a neural level, these may be related to topographical disbalance between large-scale networks, such as the default mode network (DMN) and sensorimotor network (SMN). We investigated topographical patterns of variability in the resting-state signal-measured by fractional SD (fSD) of the BOLD signal-of the DMN and SMN (and other networks) in two frequency bands (Slow5 and Slow4) with their ratio and clinical correlations in depressed (n = 20), manic (n = 20), euthymic (n = 20) patients, and healthy controls (n = 40). After controlling for global signal changes, the topographical balance between the DMN and SMN, specifically in the lowest frequency band, as calculated by the Slow5 fSD DMN/SMN ratio, was significantly increased in depression, whereas the same ratio was significantly decreased in mania. Additionally, Slow5 variability was increased in the DMN and decreased in the SMN in depressed patients, whereas the opposite topographical pattern was observed in mania. Finally, the Slow5 fSD DMN/SMN ratio correlated positively with clinical scores of depressive symptoms and negatively with those of mania. Results were replicated in a smaller independent bipolar disorder sample.We demonstrated topographical abnormalities in frequency- specific resting-state variability in the balance between DMN and SMN with opposing patterns in depression and mania. The Slow5 DMN/SMN ratio was tilted toward the DMN in depression but was shifted toward the SMN in mania. The Slow5 fSD DMN/SMN pattern could constitute a state-biomarker in diagnosis and therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4824-4829
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - Apr 26 2016


  • Bipolar disorder
  • Default mode network
  • Neuronal variability
  • Sensorimotor network

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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