A sliding time-window ICA reveals spatial variability of the default mode network in time

Brain Connect. 2011;1(4):339-47. doi: 10.1089/brain.2011.0036.


Recent evidence on resting-state networks in functional (connectivity) magnetic resonance imaging (fcMRI) suggests that there may be significant spatial variability of activity foci over time. This study used a sliding time window approach with the spatial domain-independent component analysis (SliTICA) to detect spatial maps of resting-state networks over time. The study hypothesis was that the spatial distribution of a functionally connected network would present marked variability over time. The spatial stability of successive sliding-window maps of the default mode network (DMN) from fcMRI data of 12 participants imaged in the resting state was analyzed. Control measures support previous findings on the stability of independent component analysis in measuring sliding-window sources accurately. The spatial similarity of successive DMN maps varied over time at low frequencies and presented a 1/f power spectral pattern. SliTICA maps show marked temporal variation within the DMN; a single voxel was detected inside a group DMN map in maximally 82% of time windows. Mapping of incidental connectivity reveals centrifugally increasing connectivity to the brain cortex outside the DMN core areas. In conclusion, SliTICA shows marked spatial variance of DMN activity in time, which may offer a more comprehensive measurement of the overall functional activity of a network.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Brain Mapping / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nerve Net / physiology*
  • Principal Component Analysis / methods*
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult