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Neural Plasticity
Volume 2019, Article ID 3681430, 10 pages
Research Article

Altered Spontaneous Brain Activity of Children with Unilateral Amblyopia: A Resting State fMRI Study

1School of Computer Science and Engineering, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan 410083, China
2Hunan Engineering Research Center of Machine Vision and Intelligent Medicine, Central South University, Changsha 410083, China
3Department of Ophthalmology, Second Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan 410083, China
4Hunan Clinical Research Center of Ophthalmic Disease, Changsha, Hunan 410083, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Manyi Xiao; moc.361@26891137931

Received 27 December 2018; Revised 1 May 2019; Accepted 27 June 2019; Published 25 July 2019

Guest Editor: Benjamin Thompson

Copyright © 2019 Peishan Dai et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. This study is aimed at investigating differences in local brain activity and functional connectivity (FC) between children with unilateral amblyopia and healthy controls (HCs) by using resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI). Methods. Local activity and FC analysis methods were used to explore the altered spontaneous brain activity of children with unilateral amblyopia. Local brain function analysis methods included the amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation (ALFF). FC analysis methods consisted of the FC between the primary visual cortex (PVC-FC) and other brain regions and the FC network between regions of interest (ROIs-FC) selected by independent component analysis. Results. The ALFF in the bilateral frontal, temporal, and occipital lobes in the amblyopia group was lower than that in the HCs. The weakened PVC-FC was mainly concentrated in the frontal lobe and the angular gyrus. The ROIs-FC between the default mode network, salience network, and primary visual cortex network (PVCN) were significantly reduced, whereas the ROIs-FC between the PVCN and the high-level visual cortex network were significantly increased in amblyopia. Conclusions. Unilateral amblyopia may reduce local brain activity and FC in the dorsal and ventral visual pathways and affect the top-down attentional control. Amblyopia may also alter FC between brain functional networks. These findings may help understand the pathological mechanisms of children with amblyopia.