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Cereb Cortex. 2019 Sep 4. pii: bhz198. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhz198. [Epub ahead of print]

Organization of Propagated Intrinsic Brain Activity in Individual Humans.

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Department of Radiology, Washington University, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA.
Department of Psychiatry, Washington University, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA.
Department of Neurology, Washington University, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA.
Department of Pediatrics, Washington University, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA.
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Washington University, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA.
Department of Occupational Therapy, Washington University, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA.


Spontaneous infra-slow (<0.1 Hz) fluctuations in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) signals are temporally correlated within large-scale functional brain networks, motivating their use for mapping systems-level brain organization. However, recent electrophysiological and hemodynamic evidence suggest state-dependent propagation of infra-slow fluctuations, implying a functional role for ongoing infra-slow activity. Crucially, the study of infra-slow temporal lag structure has thus far been limited to large groups, as analyzing propagation delays requires extensive data averaging to overcome sampling variability. Here, we use resting-state fMRI data from 11 extensively-sampled individuals to characterize lag structure at the individual level. In addition to stable individual-specific features, we find spatiotemporal topographies in each subject similar to the group average. Notably, we find a set of early regions that are common to all individuals, are preferentially positioned proximal to multiple functional networks, and overlap with brain regions known to respond to diverse behavioral tasks-altogether consistent with a hypothesized ability to broadly influence cortical excitability. Our findings suggest that, like correlation structure, temporal lag structure is a fundamental organizational property of resting-state infra-slow activity.


functional connectivity; hubs; infra-slow; networks; resting-state fMRI


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