F. de Pasquale, S. Della Penna, O. Sporns, G. L. Romani, M. Corbetta; A Dynamic Core Network and Global Efficiency in the Resting Human Brain. Cereb Cortex 2016; 26 (10): 4015-4033. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhv185
Spontaneous brain activity is spatially and temporally organized in the absence of any stimulation or task in networks of cortical and subcortical regions that appear largely segregated when imaged at slow temporal resolution with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). When imaged at high temporal resolution with magneto-encephalography (MEG), these resting-state networks (RSNs) show correlated fluctuations of band-limited power in the beta frequency band (14–25 Hz) that alternate between epochs of strong and weak internal coupling. This study presents 2 novel findings on the fundamental issue of how different brain regions or networks interact in the resting state. First, we demonstrate the existence of multiple dynamic hubs that allow for across-network coupling. Second, dynamic network coupling and related variations in hub centrality correspond to increased global efficiency. These findings suggest that the dynamic organization of across-network interactions represents a property of the brain aimed at optimizing the efficiency of communication between distinct functional domains (memory, sensory-attention, motor). They also support the hypothesis of a dynamic core network model in which a set of network hubs alternating over time ensure efficient global communication in the whole brain.