October 24, 2020

Relating neural oscillations to laminar fMRI connectivity

Laminar fMRI can non-invasively study brain activation and potentially connectivity at the laminar level in humans. In a previous simultaneous laminar fMRI/EEG experiment, we observed that attention effects in alpha, beta and gamma band EEG power relate to attention effects in fMRI activation in V1/V2/V3 at distinct cortical depths: alpha and gamma band EEG attention effects related to fMRI effects in superficial layers, whereas beta attention effects related to deep layers. Here we reanalyzed these data to investigate how EEG-attention effects relate to changes in connectivity between regions. We computed the fMRI-based attention effect on laminar connectivity between regions within a hemisphere and connectivity between layers within brain regions. We observed that the beta band strongly relates to laminar specific changes in connectivity. Our results indicate that the attention-related decrease in beta power relates to an increase in deep-to-deep layer connectivity between regions and deep/middle to superficial layer connectivity within brain regions. The attention related alpha power increase predominantly relates to increases in connectivity between deep and superficial layers within brain regions. We observed no strong relation between laminar connectivity and gamma band oscillations. These results indicate that especially beta band oscillations, and to a lesser extent alpha band oscillations relate to laminar specific changes in connectivity as measured by laminar fMRI. Together, the effects for the alpha and beta bands suggest a complex picture of possibly co-occurring neural processes that can differentially affect laminar connectivity.

 bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience

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