Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Neuroimage. 2019 Mar;188:524-538. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2018.12.038. Epub 2018 Dec 20.

Finding the baby in the bath water - evidence for task-specific changes in resting state functional connectivity evoked by training.

Author information

1
Section on Learning and Plasticity, National Institute of Mental Health, United States.
2
Section on Learning and Plasticity, National Institute of Mental Health, United States. Electronic address: cibu.thomas@nih.gov.
3
Scientific and Statistical Computing Core, National Institute of Mental Health, United States.

Abstract

Resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC) between brain regions has been used for studying training-related changes in brain function during the offline period of skill learning. However, it is difficult to infer whether the observed training-related changes in rsFC measured between two scans occur as a consequence of task performance, whether they are specific to a given task, or whether they reflect confounding factors such as diurnal fluctuations in brain physiology that impact the MRI signal. Here, we sought to elucidate whether task-specific changes in rsFC are dissociable from time-of-day related changes by evaluating rsFC changes after participants were provided training in either a visuospatial task or a motor sequence task compared to a non-training condition. Given the nature of the tasks, we focused on changes in rsFC of the hippocampal and sensorimotor cortices after short-term training, while controlling for the effect of time-of-day. We also related the change in rsFC of task-relevant brain regions to performance improvement in each task. Our results demonstrate that, even in the absence of any experimental manipulation, significant changes in rsFC can be detected between two resting state functional MRI scans performed just a few hours apart, suggesting time-of-day has a significant impact on rsFC. However, by estimating the magnitude of the time-of-day effect, our findings also suggest that task-specific changes in rsFC can be dissociated from the changes attributed to time-of-day. Taken together, our results show that rsFC can provide insights about training-related changes in brain function during the offline period of skill learning. However, demonstrating the specificity of the changes in rsFC to a given task requires a rigorous experimental design that includes multiple active and passive control conditions, and robust behavioral measures.

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center