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Endogenous human brain dynamics recover slowly following cognitive effort

Barnes, A; Bullmore, ET; Suckling, J; (2009) Endogenous human brain dynamics recover slowly following cognitive effort. PLoS One , 4 (8) , Article e6626. 10.1371/journal.pone.0006626. Green open access

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Abstract

Background In functional magnetic resonance imaging, the brain's response to experimental manipulation is almost always assumed to be independent of endogenous oscillations. To test this, we addressed the possible interaction between cognitive task performance and endogenous fMRI oscillations in an experiment designed to answer two questions: 1) Does performance of a cognitively effortful task significantly change fractal scaling properties of fMRI time series compared to their values before task performance? 2) If so, can we relate the extent of task-related perturbation to the difficulty of the task? Methodology/Principal Findings Using a novel continuous acquisition “rest-task-rest” design, we found that endogenous dynamics tended to recover their pre-task parameter values relatively slowly, over the course of several minutes, following completion of one of two versions of the n-back working memory task and that the rate of recovery was slower following completion of the more demanding (n = 2) version of the task. Conclusion/Significance This result supports the model that endogenous low frequency oscillatory dynamics are relevant to the brain's response to exogenous stimulation. Moreover, it suggests that large-scale neurocognitive systems measured using fMRI, like the heart and other physiological systems subjected to external demands for enhanced performance, can take a considerable period of time to return to a stable baseline state.

Type: Article
Title: Endogenous human brain dynamics recover slowly following cognitive effort
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0006626
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0006626
Language: English
Additional information: © 2009 Barnes et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. PMCID: PMC2721686
Keywords: Brain, Cognition, Fractals, Humans, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Memory, Task Performance and Analysis
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Medicine
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1420421
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