Altered Effective Connectivity of Children and Young Adults With Unilateral Amblyopia: A Resting-State Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study
Frontiers in Neuroscience
The altered functional connectivity (FC) in amblyopia has been investigated by many studies, but the specific causality of brain connectivity needs to be explored further to understand the brain activity of amblyopia. We investigated whether the effective connectivity (EC) of children and young adults with amblyopia was altered. The subjects included 16 children and young adults with left eye amblyopia and 17 healthy controls (HCs). The abnormalities between the left/right primary visual cortex
... (PVC) and the other brain regions were investigated in a voxel-wise manner using the Granger causality analysis (GCA). According to the EC results in the HCs and the distribution of visual pathways, 12 regions of interest (ROIs) were selected to construct an EC network. The alteration of the EC network of the children and young adults with amblyopia was analyzed. In the voxel-wise manner analysis, amblyopia showed significantly decreased EC between the left/right of the PVC and the left middle frontal gyrus/left inferior frontal gyrus compared with the HCs. In the EC network analysis, compared with the HCs, amblyopia showed significantly decreased EC from the left calcarine fissure, posterior cingulate gyrus, left lingual gyrus, right lingual gyrus, and right fusiform gyrus to the right calcarine fissure. Amblyopia also showed significantly decreased EC from the right inferior frontal gyrus and right lingual gyrus to the left superior temporal gyrus compared with the HCs in the EC network analysis. The results may indicate that amblyopia altered the visual feedforward and feedback pathway, and amblyopia may have a greater relevance with the feedback pathway than the feedforward pathway. Amblyopia may also correlate with the feedforward of the third visual pathway.