Sleep deprivation (SD) can alter extrinsic, task-related fMRI signal involved in attention, memory and executive function. However, its effects on intrinsic low-frequency connectivity within the Default Mode Network (DMN) and its related anti-correlated network (ACN) have not been well characterized. We investigated the effect of SD on functional connectivity within the DMN, and on DMN-ACN anti-correlation, both during the resting state and during performance of a visual attention task (VAT). 26 healthy participants underwent fMRI twice: once after a normal night of sleep in rested wakefulness (RW) and once following approximately 24h of total SD. A seed-based approach was used to examine pairwise correlations of low-frequency fMRI signal across different nodes in each state. SD was associated with significant selective reductions in DMN functional connectivity and DMN-ACN anti-correlation. This was congruent across resting state and VAT analyses, suggesting that SD induces a robust alteration in the intrinsic connectivity within and between these networks.
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