Studying brain organization via spontaneous fMRI signal

Neuron. 2014 Nov 19;84(4):681-96. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2014.09.007. Epub 2014 Nov 19.


In recent years, some substantial advances in understanding human (and nonhuman) brain organization have emerged from a relatively unusual approach: the observation of spontaneous activity, and correlated patterns in spontaneous activity, in the "resting" brain. Most commonly, spontaneous neural activity is measured indirectly via fMRI signal in subjects who are lying quietly in the scanner, the so-called "resting state." This Primer introduces the fMRI-based study of spontaneous brain activity, some of the methodological issues active in the field, and some ways in which resting-state fMRI has been used to delineate aspects of area-level and supra-areal brain organization.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Brain / physiology*
  • Brain Mapping / methods*
  • Functional Neuroimaging
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Nerve Net / physiology*