Ongoing physiological processes in the cerebral cortex.
ABSTRACT Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has revealed that the human brain undergoes prominent, regional hemodynamic fluctuations when a subject is at rest. These ongoing fluctuations exhibit distinct patterns of spatiotemporal synchronization that have been dubbed "resting state functional connectivity", and which currently serve as a principal tool to investigate neural networks in the normal and pathological human brain. Despite the wide application of this approach in human neuroscience, the neural mechanisms that give rise to spontaneous fMRI correlations are largely unknown. Here we review results of recent electrophysiological studies in the cerebral cortex of humans and nonhuman primates that link neural activity to ongoing fMRI fluctuations. We begin by describing results obtained with simultaneous fMRI and electrophysiological measurements that allow for the identification of direct neural correlates of resting state functional connectivity. We next highlight experiments that investigate the correlational structure of spontaneous neural signals, including the spatial variation of signal coherence over the cortical surface, across cortical laminae, and between the two hemispheres. In the final section we speculate on the origins and potential consequences of ongoing signals for normal brain function, and point out inherent limitations of the fMRI correlation approach.
- SourceAvailable from: Alex MartinProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 02/2012; 109(9):3201-2. · 9.74 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The human brain is composed of two broadly symmetric cerebral hemispheres, with an abundance of reciprocal anatomical connections between homotopic locations. However, to date, studies of hemispheric symmetries have not identified correspondency precisely due to variable cortical folding patterns. Here we present a method to establish accurate correspondency using position on the unfolded cortical surface relative to gyral and sulcal landmarks. The landmark method is shown to outperform the method of reversing standard volume coordinates, and it is used to quantify the functional symmetry in resting fMRI data throughout the cortex. Resting brain activity was found to be maximally correlated with locations less than 1 cm away on the cortical surface from the corresponding anatomical location in nearly half of the cortex. While select locations exhibited asymmetric patterns, precise symmetric relationships were found to be the norm, with fine-grained symmetric functional maps demonstrated in motor, occipital, and inferior frontal cortex.PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(11):e48847. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: With combined EEG-fMRI a powerful combination of methods was developed in the last decade that seems promising for answering fundamental neuroscientific questions by measuring functional processes of the human brain simultaneously with two complementary modalities. Recently, resting state networks (RSNs), representing brain regions of coherent BOLD fluctuations, raised major interest in the neuroscience community. Since RSNs are reliably found across subjects and reflect task related networks, changes in their characteristics might give insight to neuronal changes or damage, promising a broad range of scientific and clinical applications. The question of how RSNs are linked to electrophysiological signal characteristics becomes relevant in this context. In this combined EEG-fMRI study we investigated the relationship of RSNs and their correlated electrophysiological signals [electrophysiological correlation patterns (ECPs)] using a long (34 min) resting state scan per subject. This allowed us to study ECPs on group as well as on single subject level, and to examine the temporal stability of ECPs within each subject. We found that the correlation patterns obtained on group level show a large inter-subject variability. During the long scan the ECPs within a subject show temporal fluctuations, which we interpret as a result of the complex temporal dynamic of the RSNs.Brain Topography 06/2012; · 3.67 Impact Factor