Date of Award

Spring 2019

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



First Advisor

Dan Lloyd

Second Advisor

Charles Swart


As neurological research advances, so does the understanding of how disorders and diseases develop and how they can be treated. The debate of how mental disorders develop has been ongoing and complicated, as there is still no clear understanding of their cause. In this study, fMRI scans of individuals with bipolar disorder (BPD), schizophrenia (SZP), and schizoaffective disorder (SAD), and a control group were collected in six cities in the United States and were preprocessed to screen out scans that do not succeed in the standardization process. The subjects were included in three analyses: one that compares the subjects based on DSM diagnosis, one that compares them based on biotype, and one that compares the subjects based on their use of various types of medication to determine whether the brain connectivity differences were due to the disorder itself or to medication usage. The results indicate that there is no significant difference between the biotypes. SAD exhibits some significant difference, but this appears to be caused by medication usage. BPD and SZP are neurologically distinct in their brain functional connectivity. Further studies may consider analyzing other covariates to determine other possible explanations for the connectivity differences between disorders and biotypes.


Senior thesis completed at Trinity College, Hartford, CT for the degree of Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience.