Frequency-specific electrophysiologic correlates of resting state fMRI networks

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Resting state functional MRI (R-fMRI) studies have shown that slow (<0.1 Hz), intrinsic fluctuations of the blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) signal are temporally correlated within hierarchically organized functional systems known as resting state networks (RSNs) (Doucet et al., 2011). Most broadly, this hierarchy exhibits a dichotomy between two opposed systems (Fox et al., 2005). One system engages with the environment and includes the visual, auditory, and sensorimotor (SMN) networks as well as the dorsal attention network (DAN), which controls spatial attention. The other system includes the default mode network (DMN) and the fronto-parietal control system (FPC), RSNs that instantiate episodic memory and executive control, respectively. Here, we test the hypothesis, based on the spectral specificity of electrophysiologic responses to perceptual vs. memory tasks (Klimesch, 1999; Pfurtscheller and Lopes da Silva, 1999), that these two large-scale neural systems also manifest frequency specificity in the resting state. We measured the spatial correspondence between electrocorticographic (ECoG) band-limited power (BLP) and R-fMRI correlation patterns in awake, resting, human subjects. Our results show that, while gamma BLP correspondence was common throughout the brain, theta (4–8 Hz) BLP correspondence was stronger in the DMN and FPC, whereas alpha (8–12 Hz) correspondence was stronger in the SMN and DAN. Thus, the human brain, at rest, exhibits frequency specific electrophysiology, respecting both the spectral structure of task responses and the hierarchical organization of RSNs.

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