Baseline BOLD correlation predicts individuals' stimulus-evoked BOLD responses

Xiao Liu, Xiao Hong Zhu, Wei Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


To investigate whether individuals' ongoing neuronal activity at resting state can affect their response to brain stimulation, fMRI BOLD signals were imaged from the human visual cortex of fifteen healthy subjects in the absence and presence of visual stimulation. It was found that the temporal correlation strength but not amplitude of baseline BOLD signal fluctuations acquired under the eyes-fixed condition is positively correlated with the amplitude of stimulus-evoked BOLD responses across subjects. Moreover, the spatiotemporal correlations of baseline BOLD signals imply a coherent network covering the visual system, which is topographically indistinguishable from the "resting-state visual network" observed under the eyes-closed condition. The overall findings suggest that the synchronization of ongoing brain activity plays an important role in determining stimulus-evoked brain activity even at an early stage of the sensory system. The tight relationship between baseline BOLD correlation and stimulus-evoked BOLD amplitude provides an essential basis for understanding and interpreting the large inter-subject BOLD variability commonly observed in numerous fMRI studies and potentially for improving group fMRI analysis. This study highlights the importance to integrate the information from both resting-state coherent networks and task-evoked neural responses for a better understanding of how the brain functions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2278-2286
Number of pages9
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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