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Neurosci Lett. 2011 Jan 20;488(2):158-63. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2010.11.020. Epub 2010 Nov 13.

Spontaneous BOLD event triggered averages for estimating functional connectivity at resting state.

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Departamento de Física, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina.


Recent neuroimaging studies have demonstrated that the spontaneous brain activity reflects, to a large extent, the same activation patterns measured in response to cognitive and behavioral tasks. This correspondence between activation and rest has been explored with a large repertoire of computational methods, ranging from analysis of pairwise interactions between areas of the brain to the global brain networks yielded by independent component analysis. In this paper we describe an alternative method based on the averaging of the BOLD signal at a region of interest (target) triggered by spontaneous increments in activity at another brain area (seed). The resting BOLD event triggered averages ("rBeta") can be used to estimate functional connectivity at resting state. Using two simple examples, here we illustrate how the analysis of the average response triggered by spontaneous increases/decreases in the BOLD signal is sufficient to capture the aforementioned correspondence in a variety of circumstances. The computation of the non linear response during rest here described allows for a direct comparison with results obtained during task performance, providing an alternative measure of functional interaction between brain areas.

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