Visual Organization of the Default Network

Cereb Cortex. 2020 May 18;30(6):3518-3527. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhz323.


The default network (DN) is a brain network with correlated activities spanning frontal, parietal, and temporal cortical lobes. The DN activates for high-level cognition tasks and deactivates when subjects are actively engaged in perceptual tasks. Despite numerous observations, the role of DN deactivation remains unclear. Using computational neuroimaging applied to a large dataset of the Human Connectome Project (HCP) and to two individual subjects scanned over many repeated runs, we demonstrate that the DN selectively deactivates as a function of the position of a visual stimulus. That is, we show that spatial vision is encoded within the DN by means of deactivation relative to baseline. Our results suggest that the DN functions as a set of high-level visual regions, opening up the possibility of using vision-science tools to understand its putative function in cognition and perception.

Keywords: Human Connectome Project; deactivation; default network; population receptive field; ultra-high-field fMRI.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Connectome
  • Default Mode Network / diagnostic imaging
  • Default Mode Network / physiology*
  • Female
  • Functional Neuroimaging
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Spatial Processing / physiology*
  • Visual Perception / physiology*
  • Young Adult