Frontal theta EEG activity correlates negatively with the default mode network in resting state

Int J Psychophysiol. 2008 Mar;67(3):242-51. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2007.05.017. Epub 2007 Jul 12.


We used simultaneously recorded EEG and fMRI to investigate in which areas the BOLD signal correlates with frontal theta power changes, while subjects were quietly lying resting in the scanner with their eyes open. To obtain a reliable estimate of frontal theta power we applied ICA on band-pass filtered (2-9 Hz) EEG data. For each subject we selected the component that best matched the mid-frontal scalp topography associated with the frontal theta rhythm. We applied a time-frequency analysis on this component and used the time course of the frequency bin with the highest overall power to form a regressor that modeled spontaneous fluctuations in frontal theta power. No significant positive BOLD correlations with this regressor were observed. Extensive negative correlations were observed in the areas that together form the default mode network. We conclude that frontal theta activity can be seen as an EEG index of default mode network activity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Arousal / physiology*
  • Attention / physiology
  • Brain Mapping / methods*
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation
  • Electroencephalography
  • Female
  • Frontal Lobe / blood supply
  • Frontal Lobe / metabolism
  • Frontal Lobe / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Oxygen / blood
  • Principal Component Analysis
  • Rest / physiology*
  • Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Theta Rhythm*


  • Oxygen