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Task-Evoked Functional Connectivity Does Not Explain Functional Connectivity Differences Between Rest and Task Conditions

By Lauren K. Lynch, Kun-Han Lu, Haiguang Wen, Yizhen Zhang, Andrew J Saykin, Zhongming Liu

Posted 24 Jan 2018
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/252759 (published DOI: 10.1002/hbm.24335)

During complex tasks, patterns of functional connectivity (FC) differ from those in the resting state. What accounts for such differences remains unclear. Brain activity during a task reflects an unknown mixture of spontaneous activity and task-evoked responses. The difference in FC between a task state and resting state may reflect not only task-evoked connectivity, but also changes in spontaneously emerging networks. Here, we characterized the difference in apparent functional connectivity between the resting state and when human subjects were watching a naturalistic movie. Such differences were marginally (3-15%) explained by the task-evoked networks directly involved in processing the movie content, but mostly attributable to changes in spontaneous networks driven by ongoing activity during the task. The execution of the task reduced the correlations in ongoing activity among different cortical networks, especially between the visual and non-visual sensory cortices. Our results suggest that the interaction between spontaneous and task-evoked activities is not mutually independent or linearly additive, and that engaging in a task may suppress ongoing activity.

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