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Brain Cogn. 2011 Mar;75(2):79-90. doi: 10.1016/j.bandc.2010.11.015. Epub 2010 Dec 18.

Persistent operational synchrony within brain default-mode network and self-processing operations in healthy subjects.

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BM-Science - Brain and Mind Technologies Research Centre, Espoo, Finland.


Based on the theoretical analysis of self-consciousness concepts, we hypothesized that the spatio-temporal pattern of functional connectivity within the default-mode network (DMN) should persist unchanged across a variety of different cognitive tasks or acts, thus being task-unrelated. This supposition is in contrast with current understanding that DMN activated when the subjects are resting and deactivated during any attention-demanding cognitive tasks. To test our proposal, we used, in retrospect, the results from our two early studies (Fingelkurts, 1998; Fingelkurts et al., 2003). In both studies for the majority of experimental trails we indeed found a constellation of operationally synchronized cortical areas (indexed as DMN) that was persistent across all studied experimental conditions in all subjects. Furthermore, we found three major elements comprising this DMN: two symmetrical occipito-parieto-temporal and one frontal spatio-temporal patterns. This new data directly supports the notion that DMN has a specific functional connotation - it provides neurophysiologic basis for self-processing operations, namely first-person perspective taking and an experience of agency.

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