Brain circuitry underlying cognition, emotion, and perception is abnormal in schizophrenia. There is considerable evidence that the neuropathology of schizophrenia includes the thalamus, a key hub of cortical-subcortical circuitry and an important regulator of cortical activity. However, the thalamus is a heterogeneous structure composed of several nuclei with distinct inputs and cortical connections. Limitations of conventional neuroimaging methods and conflicting findings from post-mortem investigations have made it difficult to determine if thalamic pathology in schizophrenia is widespread or limited to specific thalamocortical circuits. Resting-state fMRI has proven invaluable for understanding the large-scale functional organization of the brain and investigating neural circuitry relevant to psychiatric disorders. This article summarizes resting-state fMRI investigations of thalamocortical functional connectivity in schizophrenia. Particular attention is paid to the course, diagnostic specificity, and clinical correlates of thalamocortical network dysfunction.
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