Lag threads organize the brain's intrinsic activity

Anish Mitra, Abraham Z. Snyder, Tyler Blazey, Marcus E. Raichle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

98 Scopus citations

Abstract

It has been widely reported that intrinsic brain activity, in a variety of animals including humans, is spatiotemporally structured. Specifically, propagated slow activity has been repeatedly demonstrated in animals. In human resting-state fMRI, spontaneous activity has been understood predominantly in terms of zero-lag temporal synchrony within widely distributed functional systems (resting-state networks). Here, we use resting-state fMRI from 1,376 normal, young adults to demonstrate that multiple, highly reproducible, temporal sequences of propagated activity, which we term "lag threads," are present in the brain. Moreover, this propagated activity is largely unidirectional within conventionally understood resting-state networks. Modeling experiments show that resting-state networks naturally emerge as a consequence of shared patterns of propagation. An implication of these results is that common physiologic mechanisms may underlie spontaneous activity as imaged with fMRI in humans and slowly propagated activity as studied in animals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E2235-E2244
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume112
Issue number17
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 28 2015

Keywords

  • Dynamics
  • Intrinsic activity
  • Resting state
  • fMRI

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