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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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