Functionally linked resting-state networks reflect the underlying structural connectivity architecture of the human brain

Hum Brain Mapp. 2009 Oct;30(10):3127-41. doi: 10.1002/hbm.20737.


During rest, multiple cortical brain regions are functionally linked forming resting-state networks. This high level of functional connectivity within resting-state networks suggests the existence of direct neuroanatomical connections between these functionally linked brain regions to facilitate the ongoing interregional neuronal communication. White matter tracts are the structural highways of our brain, enabling information to travel quickly from one brain region to another region. In this study, we examined both the functional and structural connections of the human brain in a group of 26 healthy subjects, combining 3 Tesla resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging time-series with diffusion tensor imaging scans. Nine consistently found functionally linked resting-state networks were retrieved from the resting-state data. The diffusion tensor imaging scans were used to reconstruct the white matter pathways between the functionally linked brain areas of these resting-state networks. Our results show that well-known anatomical white matter tracts interconnect at least eight of the nine commonly found resting-state networks, including the default mode network, the core network, primary motor and visual network, and two lateralized parietal-frontal networks. Our results suggest that the functionally linked resting-state networks reflect the underlying structural connectivity architecture of the human brain.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Brain / blood supply
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Brain Mapping*
  • Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Male
  • Models, Neurological*
  • Nerve Fibers, Myelinated / physiology
  • Nerve Net / blood supply
  • Nerve Net / physiology*
  • Neural Pathways / blood supply
  • Neural Pathways / physiology*
  • Oxygen / blood
  • Rest / physiology*
  • Young Adult


  • Oxygen