Moment-to-moment brain signal variability: a next frontier in human brain mapping?

Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2013 May;37(4):610-24. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2013.02.015. Epub 2013 Mar 1.


Neuroscientists have long observed that brain activity is naturally variable from moment-to-moment, but neuroimaging research has largely ignored the potential importance of this phenomenon. An emerging research focus on within-person brain signal variability is providing novel insights, and offering highly predictive, complementary, and even orthogonal views of brain function in relation to human lifespan development, cognitive performance, and various clinical conditions. As a result, brain signal variability is evolving as a bona fide signal of interest, and should no longer be dismissed as meaningless noise when mapping the human brain.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging / physiology
  • Aging / psychology
  • Animals
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Brain Injuries / pathology
  • Brain Injuries / physiopathology
  • Brain Mapping / methods*
  • Child
  • Electroencephalography
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Magnetoencephalography
  • Neuroimaging / methods
  • Neurosciences / methods
  • Neurosciences / trends*
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology
  • Young Adult