The brain’s pre-stimulus default state interacts with working memory in a load-dependent manner

Schläpfer, Anthony; Bänninger, Anja; Brandeis, Daniel; Michels, Lars; König, Thomas (8 June 2014). The brain’s pre-stimulus default state interacts with working memory in a load-dependent manner (Unpublished). In: OHBM 2014. Hamburg. 08.-12.06.2014.

Recently, multiple studies showed that spatial and temporal features of a task-negative default mode network (DMN) (Greicius et al., 2003) are important markers for psychiatric diseases (Balsters et al., 2013). Another prominent indicator of cognitive functioning, yielding information about the mental condition in health and disease, is working memory (WM) processing. In EEG and MEG studies, frontal-midline theta power has been shown to increase with load during WM retention in healthy subjects (Brookes et al., 2011). Negative correlations between DMN activity and theta amplitude have been found during resting state (Jann et al., 2010) as well as during WM (Michels et al., 2010). Likewise, WM training resulted in higher resting state theta power as well as increased small-worldness of the resting brain (Langer et al., 2013). Further, increased fMRI connectivity between nodes of the DMN correlated with better WM performance (Hampson et al., 2006). Hence, the brain’s default state might influence it’s functioning during task. We therefore hypothesized correlations between pre-stimulus DMN activity and EEG-theta power during WM maintenance, depending on the WM load. 17 healthy subjects performed a Sternberg WM task while being measured simultaneously with EEG and fMRI. Data was recorded within a multicenter-study: 12 subjects were measured in Zurich with a 64-channels MR-compatible system (Brain Products) in a 3T Philips scanner, 5 subjects with a 96-channel MR-compatible system (Brain Products) in a 3T Siemens Scanner in Bern. The DMN components was obtained by a group BOLD-ICA approach over the full task duration (figure 1). The subject-wise dynamics were obtained by back-reconstructed onto each subject’s fMRI data and normalized to percent signal change values. The single trial pre-stimulus-DMN activation was then temporally correlated with the single trial EEG-theta (3-8 Hz) spectral power during retention intervals. This so-called covariance mapping (Jann et al., 2010) yielded the spatial distribution of the theta EEG fluctuations during retention associated with the dynamics of the pre-stimulus DMN. In line with previous findings, theta power was increased at frontal-midline electrodes in high- versus low-load conditions during early WM retention (figure 2). However, correlations of DMN with theta power resulted in primarily positive correlations in low-load conditions, while during high-load conditions negative correlations of DMN activity and theta power were observed at frontal-midline electrodes. This DMN-dependent load effect reached significance in the middle of the retention period (TANOVA, p<0.05) (figure 3). Our results show a complex and load-dependent interaction of pre-stimulus DMN activity and theta power during retention, varying over time. While at a more global, load-independent view pre-stimulus DMN activity correlated positively with theta power during retention, the correlation was inversed during certain time windows in high-load trials, meaning that in trials with enhanced pre-stimulus DMN activity theta power decreases during retention. Since both WM performance and DMN activity are markers of mental health our results could be important for further investigations of psychiatric populations.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)

Division/Institute:

04 Faculty of Medicine > University Psychiatric Services > University Hospital of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy > Psychiatric Neurophysiology (discontinued)
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Psychiatric Services > University Hospital of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy

UniBE Contributor:

Bänninger, Anja and König, Thomas

Subjects:

100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health

Language:

English

Submitter:

Mara Kottlow

Date Deposited:

29 Jan 2015 11:15

Last Modified:

29 Jan 2015 11:15

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/62214

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