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Journal Article

Echoes from intrinsic connectivity networks in the subcortex


Bazin,  Pierre-Louis       
Department of Psychology, UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø, Norway;
Department Neurophysics (Weiskopf), MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;
Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Groot, J. M., Miletic, S., Isherwood, S. J. S., Tse, D. H. Y., Habli, S., Håberg, A. K., et al. (2023). Echoes from intrinsic connectivity networks in the subcortex. The Journal of Neuroscience, 43(39), 6609-6618. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1020-23.2023.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000D-A00B-2
Decades of research have greatly improved our understanding of intrinsic human brain organization in terms of functional networks and the transmodal hubs within the cortex at which they converge. However, substrates of multi-network integration in the human subcortex are relatively uncharted. Here, we leveraged recent advances in subcortical atlasing and ultra-high field (7T) imaging optimized for the subcortex to investigate the functional architecture of fourteen individual structures in healthy adult males and females with a fully data-driven approach. We revealed that spontaneous neural activity in subcortical regions can be decomposed into multiple independent subsignals that correlate with, or 'echo', the activity in functional networks across the cortex. Distinct subregions of the thalamus, striatum, claustrum, and hippocampus showed a varied pattern of echoes from attention, control, visual, somatomotor, and default mode networks, demonstrating evidence for a heterogeneous organization supportive of functional integration. Multiple network activity furthermore converged within the globus pallidus externa, substantia nigra, and ventral tegmental area but was specific to one subregion, while the amygdala and pedunculopontine nucleus preferentially affiliated with a single network, showing a more homogeneous topography. Subregional connectivity of the globus pallidus interna, subthalamic nucleus, red nucleus, periaqueductal grey, and locus coeruleus did not resemble patterns of cortical network activity. Together, these finding describe potential mechanisms through which the subcortex participates in integrated and segregated information processing and shapes the spontaneous cognitive dynamics during rest.