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Spontaneous neuronal activity predicts intersubject variations in executive control of attention

Xu, J., Rees, G., Yin, X., Song, Chen ORCID:, Han, Y., Ge, H., Pang, Z., Xu, W., Tang, Y., Friston, K. and Liu, S. 2014. Spontaneous neuronal activity predicts intersubject variations in executive control of attention. Neuroscience 263 , pp. 181-192. 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2014.01.020

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Executive control of attention regulates our thoughts, emotion and behavior. Individual differences in executive control are associated with task-related differences in brain activity. But it is unknown whether attentional differences depend on endogenous (resting state) brain activity and to what extent regional fluctuations and functional connectivity contribute to individual variations in executive control processing. Here, we explored the potential contribution of intrinsic brain activity to executive control by using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Using the amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations (ALFF) as an index of spontaneous brain activity, we found that ALFF in the right precuneus (PCUN) and the medial part of left superior frontal gyrus (msFC) was significantly correlated with the efficiency of executive control processing. Crucially, the strengths of functional connectivity between the right PCUN/left msFC and distributed brain regions, including the left fusiform gyrus, right inferior frontal gyrus, left superior frontal gyrus and right precentral gyrus, were correlated with individual differences in executive performance. Together, the ALFF and functional connectivity accounted for 67% of the variability in behavioral performance. Moreover, the strength of functional connectivity between specific regions could predict more individual variability in executive control performance than regionally specific fluctuations. In conclusion, our findings suggest that spontaneous brain activity may reflect or underpin executive control of attention. It will provide new insights into the origins of inter-individual variability in human executive control processing.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre (CUBRIC)
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0306-4522
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 19 November 2017
Date of Acceptance: 10 January 2014
Last Modified: 03 Nov 2022 10:01

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