Changes in the brain intrinsic organization in both on-task state and post-task resting state

Zhijiang Wang, Jiming LIU, Ning Zhong*, Yulin Qin, Haiyan Zhou, Kuncheng Li

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

72 Citations (Scopus)


The dynamic and robust characteristics of intrinsic functional connectivity of coherent spontaneous activity are critical for the brain functional stability and flexibility. Studies have demonstrated modulation of intrinsic connectivity within local spatial patterns during or after task performance, such as the default mode network (DMN) and task-specific networks. Moreover, recent studies have compared the global spatial pattern in different tasks or over time. However, it is still unclear how the large-scale intrinsic connectivity varies during and after a task. To better understand this issue, we conducted a functional MRI experiment over three sequential periods: an active semantic-matching task period and two rest periods, before and after the task respectively (namely, on-task state and pre-/post-task resting states), to detect task-driven effect on the dynamic large-scale intrinsic organization in both on-task state and post-task resting state. Three hierarchical levels were investigated, including (a) the whole brain small-world topology, (b) the whole pairwise functional connectivity patterns both within the DMN and between the DMN and other regions (i.e., the global/full DMN topography), and (c) the DMN nodal graph properties. The major findings are: (1) The large-scale small-world configuration of brain functional organization is robust, regardless of the behavioral state changing, while it varies adaptively with significantly higher local efficiency and lower global efficiency during the on-task state (P< 0.05, Monte-Carlo corrected); (2) The DMN may be essentially engaged during both task and post-task processes with adaptively varied spatial patterns and nodal graph properties. The present study provides further insights into the robustness and plasticity of the brain intrinsic organization over states, which may be the basis of memory and learning in the brain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)394-407
Number of pages14
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2012

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience

User-Defined Keywords

  • Default mode network
  • Modulation
  • Small world
  • Task-driven states
  • Topology


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