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Catecholaminergic Manipulation Alters Dynamic Network Topology Across Behavioral States

By James M Shine, Ruud L. van den Brink, Dennis Hernaus, Sander Nieuwenhuis, Russell A. Poldrack

Posted 27 Jul 2017
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/169102 (published DOI: 10.1162/netn_a_00042)

The human brain is able to flexibly adapt its information processing capacity to meet a variety of cognitive challenges. Recent evidence suggests that this flexibility is reflected in the dynamic reorganization of the functional connectome. The ascending catecholaminergic arousal systems of the brain are a plausible candidate mechanism for driving alterations in network architecture, enabling efficient deployment of cognitive resources when the environment demands them. We tested this hypothesis by analyzing both task-free and task-based fMRI data following the administration of atomoxetine, a noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor, compared to placebo, in two separate human fMRI studies. Our results demonstrate that the manipulation of central catecholamine levels leads to a reorganization of the functional connectome in a manner that is sensitive to ongoing cognitive demands.

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