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Soc Neurosci. 2016;11(3):249-63. doi: 10.1080/17470919.2015.1072582. Epub 2015 Aug 21.

Resting state glutamate predicts elevated pre-stimulus alpha during self-relatedness: A combined EEG-MRS study on "rest-self overlap".

Bai Y1, Nakao T2, Xu J3,4,5,6, Qin P3,4,7, Chaves P3, Heinzel A8, Duncan N3,9, Lane T4,5,7,10, Yen NS5,6, Tsai SY5,11, Northoff G3,4,5,7,9.

Author information

a Department of Psychology , Nagoya University , Nagoya , Japan.
b Department of Psychology , Graduate School of Education, Hiroshima University , Higashi-Hiroshima , Japan.
c Institute of Mental Health Research , University of Ottawa , Ottawa , Canada.
d Brain and Consciousness Research Center, Departments of Psychiatry and Radiology , Taipei Medical University-Shuang Ho Hospital , New Taipei City , Taiwan.
e Research Center for Mind, Brain and Learning , National Chengchi University , Taipei , Taiwan.
f Department of Psychology , National Chengchi University , Taipei , Taiwan.
g Graduate Institute of Humanities in Medicine , Taipei Medical University , Taipei , Taiwan.
h Department of Nuclear Medicine , RWTH Aachen , Aachen , Germany.
i Centre for Cognition and Brain Disorders (CBBD) , Normal University Hangzhou , Hangzhou , China.
j Institute of European and American Studies , Academia Sinica , Taipei , Taiwan.
k Graduate Institute of Applied Physics , National Chengchi University , Taipei , Taiwan.


Recent studies have demonstrated neural overlap between resting state activity and self-referential processing. This "rest-self" overlap occurs especially in anterior cortical midline structures like the perigenual anterior cingulate cortex (PACC). However, the exact neurotemporal and biochemical mechanisms remain to be identified. Therefore, we conducted a combined electroencephalography (EEG)-magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) study. EEG focused on pre-stimulus (e.g., prior to stimulus presentation or perception) power changes to assess the degree to which those changes can predict subjects' perception (and judgment) of subsequent stimuli as high or low self-related. MRS measured resting state concentration of glutamate, focusing on PACC. High pre-stimulus (e.g., prior to stimulus presentation or perception) alpha power significantly correlated with both perception of stimuli judged to be highly self-related and with resting state glutamate concentrations in the PACC. In sum, our results show (i) pre-stimulus (e.g., prior to stimulus presentation or perception) alpha power and resting state glutamate concentration to mediate rest-self overlap that (ii) dispose or incline subjects to assign high degrees of self-relatedness to perceptual stimuli.


EEG; Glutamine; MRS; Perigenual anterior cingulate cortex; Self-referential processing

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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