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Hum Brain Mapp. 2017 Jun;38(6):3069-3080. doi: 10.1002/hbm.23574. Epub 2017 Mar 25.

Neural decoding of visual stimuli varies with fluctuations in global network efficiency.

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Queensland Brain Institute, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.
QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Brisbane, Australia.
Brainnetome Center, Institute of Automation, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China.
School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.
Melbourne Neuropsychiatry Centre, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia.
Department of Biomedical Magnetic Resonance Imaging, University Hospital Tuebingen, Germany.
Magnetic Resonance Centre, Max-Planck-Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tuebingen, Germany.
School of Psychology, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.


Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies have shown that neural activity fluctuates spontaneously between different states of global synchronization over a timescale of several seconds. Such fluctuations generate transient states of high and low correlation across distributed cortical areas. It has been hypothesized that such fluctuations in global efficiency might alter patterns of activity in local neuronal populations elicited by changes in incoming sensory stimuli. To test this prediction, we used a linear decoder to discriminate patterns of neural activity elicited by face and motion stimuli presented periodically while participants underwent time-resolved fMRI. As predicted, decoding was reliably higher during states of high global efficiency than during states of low efficiency, and this difference was evident across both visual and nonvisual cortical regions. The results indicate that slow fluctuations in global network efficiency are associated with variations in the pattern of activity across widespread cortical regions responsible for representing distinct categories of visual stimulus. More broadly, the findings highlight the importance of understanding the impact of global fluctuations in functional connectivity on specialized, stimulus driven neural processes. Hum Brain Mapp 38:3069-3080, 2017.


brain networks; connectomics; decoding; dynamic connectivity; fMRI; faces; global efficiency; motion; vision

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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