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Neuroimage. 2012 Aug 15;62(2):1137-45. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2011.10.035. Epub 2011 Oct 20.

The serendipitous discovery of the brain's default network.

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Department of Psychology, Harvard University, Center for Brain Science, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA.


One of the most unexpected findings by functional neuroimaging has been the discovery of the brain's default network - a set of brain regions that is spontaneously active during passive moments. The default network's discovery was a fortunate accident that occurred due to the inclusion of rest control conditions in early PET and functional MRI studies. At first, the network was ignored. Later, its presence was shunned as evidence of an experimental confound. Finally, it emerged as a mainstream target of focused study. Here, I describe a personal perspective of the default network's serendipitous discovery.

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