Subspecialization within default mode nodes characterized in 10,000 UK Biobank participants

Julius M. Kernbach, B. T. Thomas Yeo, Jonathan Smallwood, Daniel S. Margulies, Michel Thiebaut de Schotten, Henrik Walter, Mert R. Sabuncu, Avram J. Holmes, Alexandre Gramfort, Gaël Varoquaux, Bertrand Thirion, Danilo Bzdok
Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2018-11-12; 115(48): 12295-12300
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1804876115

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The human default mode network (DMN) is implicated in several unique mental capacities. In this study, we tested whether brain-wide interregional communication in the DMN can be derived from population variability in intrinsic activity fluctuations, gray-matter morphology, and fiber tract anatomy. In a sample of 10,000 UK Biobank participants, pattern-learning algorithms revealed functional coupling states in the DMN that are linked to connectivity profiles between other macroscopical brain networks. In addition, DMN gray matter volume was covaried with white matter microstructure of the fornix. Collectively, functional and structural patterns unmasked a possible division of labor within major DMN nodes: Subregions most critical for cortical network interplay were adjacent to subregions most predictive of fornix fibers from the hippocampus that processes memories and places.

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