Dynamic functional connectivity in anorexia nervosa: alterations in states of low connectivity and state transitions

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review


Background: The onset of anorexia nervosa (AN) frequently occurs during adolescence and is associated with preoccupation with body weight and shape and extreme underweight. Altered resting state functional connectivity in the brain has been described in individuals with AN, but only from a static perspective. The current study investigated the temporal dynamics of functional connectivity in adolescents with AN and how it relates to clinical features. Method: 99 female patients acutely ill with AN and 99 pairwise age-matched female healthy control (HC) participants were included in the study. Using resting-state functional MRI data and an established sliding-window analytic approach, we identified dynamic resting-state functional connectivity states and extracted dynamic indices such as dwell time (the duration spent in a state), fraction time (the proportion of the total time occupied by a state), and number of transitions (number of switches) from one state to another, to test for group differences. Results: Individuals with AN had relatively reduced fraction time in a mildly connected state with pronounced connectivity within the default mode network (DMN) and an overall reduced number of transitions between states. Conclusions: These findings revealed by a dynamic, but not static analytic approach might hint towards a more “rigid” connectivity, a phenomenon commonly observed in internalizing mental disorders, and in AN possibly related to a reduction in energetic costs as a result of nutritional deprivation.


Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines
Publication statusPublished - 2024

External IDs

Mendeley 90e26544-3504-3e56-81f5-b59931f3907a
ORCID /0000-0002-2864-5578/work/159605436
ORCID /0000-0003-2132-4445/work/159605886
ORCID /0009-0007-2392-0917/work/159605998
ORCID /0000-0001-5099-0274/work/159608089


Sustainable Development Goals


  • anorexia nervosa, dynamic functional connectivity, Eating disorder, resting state