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Neuroimage. 2012 Feb 15;59(4):4022-31. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2011.10.062. Epub 2011 Oct 26.

Dynamical stability of intrinsic connectivity networks.

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Department of Bioengineering, University of Utah, 72 S Central Campus Drive, Rm 2750, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA.


Functional connectivity MRI (fcMRI) has become a widely used technique in recent years for measuring the static correlation of activity between cortical regions. Using a publicly available resting state dataset (n = 961 subjects), we obtained high spatial-resolution maps of functional connectivity between a lattice of 7266 regions covering the gray matter. Average whole brain functional correlations were calculated, with high reproducibility within the dataset and across sites. Since correlation measures not only represent pairwise connectivity information, but also shared inputs from other brain regions, we approximate pairwise connection strength by representing each region as a linear combination of the others by performing a Cholesky decomposition of the pairwise correlation matrix. We then used this weighted connection strength between regions to iterate relative brain activity in discrete temporal steps, beginning both with random initial conditions, and with initial conditions reflecting intrinsic connectivity networks using each region as a seed. In whole brain simulations based on weighted connectivity from healthy adult subjects (mean age 27.3), there was consistent convergence to one of two inverted states, one representing high activity in the default mode network, the other representing low relative activity in the default mode network. Metastable intermediate states in our simulation corresponded to combinations of characterized functional networks. Convergence to a final state was slowest for initial conditions on the borders of the default mode network.

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