Dynamic switching between intrinsic and extrinsic mode networks as demands change from passive to active processing
We here report on the relationship between default and extrinsic mode networks across alternating brief periods of rest and active task processing. We used three different visual tasks: mental rotation, working memory and mental arithmetic in a classic fMRI ON-OFF block design where task (ON) blocks alternated with equal periods of rest (OFF) blocks. By analysing data in two ways, using an ON-OFF contrast, we showed the existence of a generalized task-positive network, labelled the extrinsic mode network (EMN) which was anti-correlated with the default mode network (DMN) as processing demands shifted from rest to active processing. We then identified two key regions of interest (ROIs) in the SMA and Precuneus/PCC regions as hubs for the extrinsic and intrinsic networks, and extracted the time-course from these ROIs. The results showed a close to perfect correlations for the SMA and Precuneus/PCC time-courses for ON- respective OFF-blocks. We suggest the existence of two large-scale networks, an extrinsic mode network and an intrinsic mode network, respectively, which are up- and down-regulated as environmental demands change from active to passive processing.
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