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Resting-state neural activity across face-selective cortical regions is behaviorally relevant

, : Resting-state neural activity across face-selective cortical regions is behaviorally relevant. Journal of Neuroscience 31(28): 10323-10330

Interest has increased recently in correlations across brain regions in the resting-state fMRI blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) response, but little is known about the functional significance of these correlations. Here we directly test the behavioral relevance of the resting-state correlation between two face-selective regions in human brain, the occipital face area (OFA) and the fusiform face area (FFA). We found that the magnitude of the resting-state correlation, henceforth called functional connectivity (FC), between OFA and FFA correlates with an individual's performance on a number of face-processing tasks, not non-face tasks. Further, we found that the behavioral significance of the OFA/FFA FC is independent of the functional activation and the anatomical size of either the OFA or FFA, suggesting that face processing depends not only on the functionality of individual face-selective regions, but also on the synchronized spontaneous neural activity between them. Together, these findings provide strong evidence that the functional correlations in the BOLD response observed at rest reveal functionally significant properties of cortical processing.


PMID: 21753009

DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0873-11.2011

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