An overview of methods for the study of functional connectivity and the connectome will be provided and illustrated with results from a large data set of adults at clinical high risk for psychosis. Functional connectivity analyses allowed us to identify functional networks involving the posterior heteromodal cortices, whose disrupted connectivity could underlie the development of psychotic symptoms. The risk of developing psychotic symptoms thus may be related to an increased connectivity between subcortical structures and cortices that are devoted to high-order processing of sensory stimuli.
We speculate that psychosis results from sensory processing “ escaping” prefrontal control and “flooding thinking,” lending thoughts the immediacy of sensory qualities. We submit that such a mechanism is consistent with an understanding of psychosis in terms of an eruption into consciousness of thing presentations and primary process thinking.