• auditory hallucination;
  • graph theory;
  • schizophrenia;
  • psychosis;
  • resting state;
  • fMRI;
  • betweenness centrality;
  • degree;
  • default mode network;
  • hub

Background: Auditory verbal hallucinations (AVH) are a cardinal feature of schizophrenia and can severely disrupt behavior and decrease quality of life. Identification of areas with high functional connectivity (so-called hub regions) that are associated with the predisposition to hallucinate may provide potential targets for neuromodulation in the treatment of AVH. Methods: Resting-state fMRI scans during which no hallucinations had occurred were acquired from 29 nonpsychotic individuals with AVH and 29 matched controls. These nonpsychotic individuals with AVH provide the opportunity to study AVH without several confounds associated with schizophrenia, such as antipsychotic medication use and other symptoms related to the illness. Hub regions were identified by assessing weighted connectivity strength and betweenness centrality across groups using a permutation analysis. Results: Nonpsychotic individuals with AVH exhibited increased functioning as hub regions in the temporal cortices and the posterior cingulate/precuneus, which is an important area in the default mode network (DMN), compared to the nonhallucinating controls. In addition, the right inferior temporal gyrus, left paracentral lobule and right amygdala were less important as a hub region in the AVH group. Conclusions: These results suggest that the predisposition to hallucinate may be related to aberrant functioning of the DMN and the auditory cortices. Hum Brain Mapp 35:1436–1445, 2014. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.