Purpose of review An important challenge in neurology is identifying the neural mechanisms underlying behavioral deficits after brain injury. Here, we review recent advances in understanding the effects of focal brain lesions on brain networks and behavior. Recent findings Neuroimaging studies indicate that the human brain is organized in large-scale resting state networks (RSNs) defined via functional connectivity, that is the temporal correlation of spontaneous activity between different areas. Prior studies showed that focal brain lesion induced behaviorally relevant changes of functional connectivity beyond the site of damage. Recent work indicates that across domains, functional connectivity changes largely conform to two patterns: a reduction in interhemispheric functional connectivity and an increase in intrahemispheric functional connectivity between networks that are normally anticorrelated, for example dorsal attention and default networks. Abnormal functional connectivity can exhibit a high degree of behavioral specificity such that deficits in a given behavioral domain are selectively related to functional connectivity of the corresponding RSN, but some functional connectivity changes allow prediction across domains. Finally, as behavioral recovery proceeds, the prestroke pattern of functional connectivity is restored. Summary Investigating changes in RSNs may shed light on the neural mechanisms underlying brain dysfunction after stroke. Therefore, resting state functional connectivity may represent an important tool for clinical diagnosis, tracking recovery and rehabilitation.
- Resting state functional connectivity
- Resting state network