fMRI Resting Slow Fluctuations Correlate with the Activity of Fast Cortico-Cortical Physiological Connections

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Abstract

Recording of slow spontaneous fluctuations at rest using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) allows distinct long-range cortical networks to be identified. The neuronal basis of connectivity as assessed by resting-state fMRI still needs to be fully clarified, considering that these signals are an indirect measure of neuronal activity, reflecting slow local variations in de-oxyhaemoglobin concentration. Here, we combined fMRI with multifocal transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), a technique that allows the investigation of the causal neurophysiological interactions occurring in specific cortico-cortical connections. We investigated whether the physiological properties of parieto-frontal circuits mapped with short-latency multifocal TMS at rest may have some relationship with the resting-state fMRI measures of specific resting-state functional networks (RSNs). Results showed that the activity of fast cortico-cortical physiological interactions occurring in the millisecond range correlated selectively with the coupling of fMRI slow oscillations within the same cortical areas that form part of the dorsal attention network, i.e., the attention system believed to be involved in reorientation of attention. We conclude that resting-state fMRI ongoing slow fluctuations likely reflect the interaction of underlying physiological cortico-cortical connections.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere52660
JournalPLoS One
Volume7
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 20 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

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