Two weeks of upper extremity casting induced plasticity beyond somatomotor regions. Whole-brain resting-state functional MRI (rs-fMRI) revealed that disused motor regions became more strongly connected to the cingulo-opercular network (CON), an executive control network that includes regions of the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) and insula. Disuse-driven increases in functional connectivity (FC) were specific to the CON and somatomotor networks and did not involve any other networks, such as the salience, frontoparietal or default mode networks. FC increases during casting were mediated by large, spontaneous activity pulses that appeared in disused motor regions and network-adjacent CON control regions. During limb constraint, disused motor circuits appear to enter a standby mode characterized by spontaneous activity pulses and strengthened connectivity to CON executive control regions.
bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience