Resting Brain Fluctuations Are Intrinsically Coupled to Visual Response Dynamics

Michaël E. Belloy, Jacob Billings, Anzar Abbas, Amrit Kashyap, Wen Ju Pan, Rukun Hinz, Verdi Vanreusel, Johan Van Audekerke, Annemie Van Der Linden, Shella D. Keilholz, Marleen Verhoye, Georgios A. Keliris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


How do intrinsic brain dynamics interact with processing of external sensory stimuli? We sought new insights using functional magnetic resonance imaging to track spatiotemporal activity patterns at the whole brain level in lightly anesthetized mice, during both resting conditions and visual stimulation trials. Our results provide evidence that quasiperiodic patterns (QPPs) are the most prominent component of mouse resting brain dynamics. These QPPs captured the temporal alignment of anticorrelation between the default mode (DMN)- and task-positive (TPN)-like networks, with global brain fluctuations, and activity in neuromodulatory nuclei of the reticular formation. Specifically, the phase of QPPs prior to stimulation could significantly stratify subsequent visual response magnitude, suggesting QPPs relate to brain state fluctuations. This is the first observation in mice that dynamics of the DMN- and TPN-like networks, and particularly their anticorrelation, capture a brain state dynamic that affects sensory processing. Interestingly, QPPs also displayed transient onset response properties during visual stimulation, which covaried with deactivations in the reticular formation. We conclude that QPPs appear to capture a brain state fluctuation that may be orchestrated through neuromodulation. Our findings provide new frontiers to understand the neural processes that shape functional brain states and modulate sensory input processing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1511-1522
Number of pages12
JournalCerebral Cortex
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2021


  • brain state
  • default mode (DMN) and task-positive network (TPN)
  • functional MRI
  • neuromodulation
  • visual stimulation


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