Stomach-brain synchrony reveals a novel, delayed-connectivity resting-state network in humans

Elife. 2018 Mar 21;7:e33321. doi: 10.7554/eLife.33321.


Resting-state networks offer a unique window into the brain's functional architecture, but their characterization remains limited to instantaneous connectivity thus far. Here, we describe a novel resting-state network based on the delayed connectivity between the brain and the slow electrical rhythm (0.05 Hz) generated in the stomach. The gastric network cuts across classical resting-state networks with partial overlap with autonomic regulation areas. This network is composed of regions with convergent functional properties involved in mapping bodily space through touch, action or vision, as well as mapping external space in bodily coordinates. The network is characterized by a precise temporal sequence of activations within a gastric cycle, beginning with somato-motor cortices and ending with the extrastriate body area and dorsal precuneus. Our results demonstrate that canonical resting-state networks based on instantaneous connectivity represent only one of the possible partitions of the brain into coherent networks based on temporal dynamics.

Keywords: body maps; fMRI; gastric rhythm; human; neuroscience; phase synchrony; resting-state networks.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Algorithms
  • Brain / anatomy & histology
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Brain Mapping
  • Electroencephalography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Nerve Net / anatomy & histology
  • Nerve Net / physiology*
  • Neural Pathways / anatomy & histology
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Rest / physiology*
  • Stomach / innervation
  • Stomach / physiology*
  • Young Adult