EEG Signatures of Dynamic Functional Network Connectivity States

Brain Topogr. 2018 Jan;31(1):101-116. doi: 10.1007/s10548-017-0546-2. Epub 2017 Feb 22.


The human brain operates by dynamically modulating different neural populations to enable goal directed behavior. The synchrony or lack thereof between different brain regions is thought to correspond to observed functional connectivity dynamics in resting state brain imaging data. In a large sample of healthy human adult subjects and utilizing a sliding windowed correlation method on functional imaging data, earlier we demonstrated the presence of seven distinct functional connectivity states/patterns between different brain networks that reliably occur across time and subjects. Whether these connectivity states correspond to meaningful electrophysiological signatures was not clear. In this study, using a dataset with concurrent EEG and resting state functional imaging data acquired during eyes open and eyes closed states, we demonstrate the replicability of previous findings in an independent sample, and identify EEG spectral signatures associated with these functional network connectivity changes. Eyes open and eyes closed conditions show common and different connectivity patterns that are associated with distinct EEG spectral signatures. Certain connectivity states are more prevalent in the eyes open case and some occur only in eyes closed state. Both conditions exhibit a state of increased thalamocortical anticorrelation associated with reduced EEG spectral alpha power and increased delta and theta power possibly reflecting drowsiness. This state occurs more frequently in the eyes closed state. In summary, we find a link between dynamic connectivity in fMRI data and concurrently collected EEG data, including a large effect of vigilance on functional connectivity. As demonstrated with EEG and fMRI, the stationarity of connectivity cannot be assumed, even for relatively short periods.

Keywords: Concurrent EEG-fMRI; Dynamics; Functional network connectivity; Resting state; Vigilance.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arousal / physiology
  • Brain Mapping
  • Cerebral Cortex / diagnostic imaging
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology
  • Delta Rhythm / physiology
  • Electroencephalography / methods*
  • Electrophysiological Phenomena
  • Eye
  • Female
  • Healthy Volunteers
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Nerve Net / anatomy & histology*
  • Nerve Net / diagnostic imaging
  • Nerve Net / physiology*
  • Neural Pathways / diagnostic imaging
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Thalamus / diagnostic imaging
  • Thalamus / physiology
  • Theta Rhythm / physiology
  • Young Adult