Dynamic switching between intrinsic and extrinsic mode networks as demands change from passive to active processing

Sci Rep. 2020 Dec 8;10(1):21463. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-78579-6.


In this study we report on the relationship between default and extrinsic mode networks across alternating brief periods of rest and active task processing. Three different visual tasks were used in a classic fMRI ON-OFF block design where task (ON) blocks alternated with equal periods of rest (OFF) blocks: mental rotation, working memory and mental arithmetic. We showed the existence of a generalized task-positive network, labelled the extrinsic mode network (EMN) that is anti-correlated with the default mode network (DMN) as processing demands shifted from rest to active processing. We then identified two key regions of interest (ROIs) in the supplementary motor area (SMA) and precuneus/posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) regions as hubs for the extrinsic and intrinsic networks, and extracted the time-course from these ROIs. The results showed a close to perfect anti-correlation for the SMA and Precuneus/PCC time-courses for ON- and OFF-blocks. We suggest the existence of two large-scale networks, an extrinsic mode network and an intrinsic mode network, which are up- and down-regulated as environmental demands change from active to passive processing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't