Temporal transitions of spontaneous brain activity

Zhiwei Ma, Nanyin Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Spontaneous brain activity, typically investigated using resting-state fMRI (rsfMRI), provides a measure of inter-areal resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC). Although it has been established that RSFC is non-stationary, previous dynamic rsfMRI studies mainly focused on revealing the spatial characteristics of dynamic RSFC patterns, but the temporal relationship between these RSFC patterns remains elusive. Here we investigated the temporal organization of characteristic RSFC patterns in awake rats and humans. We found that transitions between RSFC patterns were not random but followed specific sequential orders. The organization of RSFC pattern transitions was further analyzed using graph theory, and pivotal RSFC patterns in transitions were identified. This study has demonstrated that spontaneous brain activity is not only nonrandom spatially, but also nonrandom temporally, and this feature is well conserved between rodents and humans. These results offer new insights into understanding the spatiotemporal dynamics of spontaneous activity in the mammalian brain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere33562
StatePublished - Mar 8 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Neuroscience
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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