The brain's resting-state activity is shaped by synchronized cross-frequency coupling of neural oscillations

Neuroimage. 2015 May 1:111:26-35. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2015.01.054. Epub 2015 Feb 11.


Functional imaging of the resting brain consistently reveals broad motifs of correlated blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) activity that engages cerebral regions from distinct functional systems. Yet, the neurophysiological processes underlying these organized, large-scale fluctuations remain to be uncovered. Using magnetoencephalography (MEG) imaging during rest in 12 healthy subjects we analyze the resting state networks and their underlying neurophysiology. We first demonstrate non-invasively that cortical occurrences of high-frequency oscillatory activity are conditioned to the phase of slower spontaneous fluctuations in neural ensembles. We further show that resting-state networks emerge from synchronized phase-amplitude coupling across the brain. Overall, these findings suggest a unified principle of local-to-global neural signaling for long-range brain communication.

Keywords: Neural dynamics; Neural networks and communication; Phase–amplitude coupling; Resting state.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain Mapping / methods*
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetoencephalography / methods*
  • Male
  • Nerve Net / physiology*
  • Young Adult