The human brain is intrinsically organized into dynamic, anticorrelated functional networks

Michael D. Fox, Abraham Z. Snyder, Justin L. Vincent, Maurizio Corbetta, David C. Van Essen, Marcus E. Raichle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5871 Scopus citations


During performance of attention-demanding cognitive tasks, certain regions of the brain routinely increase activity, whereas others routinely decrease activity. In this study, we investigate the extent to which this task-related dichotomy is represented intrinsically in the resting human brain through examination of spontaneous fluctuations in the functional MRI blood oxygen level-dependent signal. We identify two diametrically opposed, widely distributed brain networks on the basis of both spontaneous correlations within each network and anticorrelations between networks. One network consists of regions routinely exhibiting task-related activations and the other of regions routinely exhibiting task-related deactivations. This intrinsic organization, featuring the presence of anticorrelated networks in the absence of overt task performance, provides a critical context in which to understand brain function. We suggest that both task-driven neuronal responses and behavior are reflections of this dynamic, ongoing, functional organization of the brain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9673-9678
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number27
StatePublished - Jul 5 2005


  • Functional MRI
  • Functional connectivity
  • Spontaneous activity


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