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Cereb Cortex. 2014 Oct;24(10):2619-29. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bht119. Epub 2013 May 3.

Functional connectivity and brain activation: a synergistic approach.

Author information

  • 1National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Bethesda, MD, USA.
  • 2Department of Biosciences, Laboratory of Neuroimaging (LNI/NIAAA), Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY, USA.
  • 3Department of Biosciences, Laboratory of Neuroimaging (LNI/NIAAA), Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY, USA Department of Radiology, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY, USA and.
  • 4National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Bethesda, MD, USA National Institute on Drug Abuse, Bethesda, MD, USA.

Abstract

Traditional functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies exploit endogenous brain activity for mapping brain activation during "periodic" cognitive/emotional challenges or brain functional connectivity during the "resting state". Previous studies demonstrated that these approaches provide a limited view of brain function which can be complemented by each other. We hypothesized that graph theory functional connectivity density (FCD) mapping would demonstrate regional FCD decreases between resting-state scan and a continuous "task-state" scan. Forty-five healthy volunteers underwent functional connectivity MRI during resting-state as well as a continuous visual attention task, and standard fMRI with a blocked version of the visual attention task. High-resolution data-driven FCD mapping was used to measure task-related connectivity changes without a priori hypotheses. Results demonstrate that task performance was associated with FCD decreases in brain regions weakly activated/deactivated by the task. Furthermore, a pronounced negative correlation between blood oxygen level-dependent-fMRI activation and task-related FCD decreases emerged across brain regions that also suggest the disconnection of task-irrelevant networks during task performance. The correlation between improved accuracy and stronger FCD decreases further suggests the disconnection of task-irrelevant networks during task performance. Functional connectivity can potentiate traditional fMRI studies and offer a more complete picture of brain function.

Published by Oxford University Press 2013. This work is written by (a) US Government employee(s) and is in the public domain in the US.

KEYWORDS:

FCD; attention; fMRI; hub; performance

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