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Arterial CO2 fluctuations modulate neuronal rhythmicity: Implications for MEG and fMRI studies of resting-state networks

Driver, Ian D. ORCID:, Whittaker, Joseph R., Bright, Molly G. ORCID:, Muthukumaraswamy, Suresh and Murphy, Kevin ORCID: 2016. Arterial CO2 fluctuations modulate neuronal rhythmicity: Implications for MEG and fMRI studies of resting-state networks. Journal of Neuroscience 36 (33) , pp. 8541-8550. 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4263-15.2016

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A fast emerging technique for studying human resting state networks (RSNs) is based on spontaneous temporal fluctuations in neuronal oscillatory power, as measured by magnetoencephalography. However, it has been demonstrated recently that this power is sensitive to modulations in arterial CO2 concentration. Arterial CO2 can be modulated by natural fluctuations in breathing pattern, as might typically occur during the acquisition of an RSN experiment. Here, we demonstrate for the first time the fine-scale dependence of neuronal oscillatory power on arterial CO2 concentration, showing that reductions in alpha, beta, and gamma power are observed with even very mild levels of hypercapnia (increased arterial CO2). We use a graded hypercapnia paradigm and participant feedback to rule out a sensory cause, suggesting a predominantly physiological origin. Furthermore, we demonstrate that natural fluctuations in arterial CO2, without administration of inspired CO2, are of a sufficient level to influence neuronal oscillatory power significantly in the delta-, alpha-, beta-, and gamma-frequency bands. A more thorough understanding of the relationship between physiological factors and cortical rhythmicity is required. In light of these findings, existing results, paradigms, and analysis techniques for the study of resting-state brain data should be revisited.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Physics and Astronomy
Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre (CUBRIC)
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Additional Information: This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.
Publisher: Society for Neuroscience
ISSN: 1529-2401
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 5 July 2016
Date of Acceptance: 9 June 2016
Last Modified: 01 Nov 2022 10:38

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