EEG alpha power modulation of fMRI resting state connectivity.

R Scheeringa, KM Petersson, A Kleinschmidt, O Jensen, MCM Bastiaansen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


In the past decade, the fast and transient coupling and uncoupling of functionally related brain regions into networks has received much attention in cognitive neuroscience. Empirical tools to study network coupling include functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)-based functional and/or effective connectivity, and electroencephalography (EEG)/magnetoencephalography-based measures of neuronal synchronization. Here we use simultaneously recorded EEG and fMRI to assess whether fMRI-based connectivity and frequency-specific EEG power are related. Using data collected during resting state, we studied whether posterior EEG alpha power fluctuations are correlated with connectivity within the visual network and between the visual cortex and the rest of the brain. The results show that when alpha power increases, BOLD connectivity between the primary visual cortex and occipital brain regions decreases and that the negative relation of the visual cortex with the anterior/medial thalamus decreases and the ventral–medial prefrontal cortex is reduced in strength. These effects were specific for the alpha band, and not observed in other frequency bands. The decreased connectivity within the visual system may indicate an enhanced functional inhibition during a higher alpha activity. This higher inhibition level also attenuates long-range intrinsic functional antagonism between the visual cortex and the other thalamic and cortical regions. Together, these results illustrate that power fluctuations in posterior alpha oscillations result in local and long-range neural connectivity changes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)254-264
JournalBrain Connectivity
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


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