The human default mode network (DMN) shows decreased blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) signals in response to a wide range of attention-demanding tasks. Our understanding of the specifics regarding the neural activity underlying these "task-negative" BOLD responses remains incomplete. We paired oxygen polarography, an electrode-based oxygen measurement technique, with standard electrophysiological recording to assess the relationship of oxygen and neural activity in task-negative posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), a hub of the DMN, and visually responsive task-positive area V3 in the awake macaque. In response to engaging visual stimulation, oxygen, LFP power, and multi-unit activity in PCC showed transient activation followed by sustained suppression. In V3, oxygen, LFP power, and multi-unit activity showed an initial phasic response to the stimulus followed by sustained activation. Oxygen responses were correlated with LFP power in both areas, although the apparent hemodynamic coupling between oxygen level and electrophysiology differed across areas. Our results suggest that oxygen responses reflect changes in LFP power and multi-unit activity and that either the coupling of neural activity to blood flow and metabolism differs between PCC and V3 or computing a linear transformation from a single LFP band to oxygen level does not capture the true physiological process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)346-357
Number of pages12
JournalCerebral Cortex
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


  • default mode network
  • neurohemodynamic coupling
  • oxygen polarography
  • power spectrum
  • transfer function


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