November 27, 2020

Temporal hierarchy converges with spatial hierarchy: Intrinsic neural timescales follow core-periphery organization

The human cortex exhibits a temporal hierarchy during task states as evidenced by intrinsic neural timescale. How the task-based intrinsic neural timescale is shaped by resting state’s spatial topography especially the recently established core-periphery hierarchy (with the default-mode network (DMN) at the core and sensory networks at the periphery) remains an open issue. Using MEG data from the Human Connectome Project (HCP), we investigated the intrinsic neural timescales by measuring the autocorrelation window in short (ACW-50) and, introducing a novel variant, long (ACW-0) windows in various networks following core-periphery hierarchy. We demonstrate longer ACW-50 and ACW-0 in networks located at the core, i.e., DMN, frontoparietal network, and cingulum-operculum network, during both rest and task states. While networks at the periphery, i.e., auditory, visual, and somatomotor networks, exhibit shorter ACW-50 and ACW-0. Comparing both ACW scales during rest and task, i.e., rest-task difference revealed task- and network-specific effects. That is complemented by strong correlation of both ACW scales in rest with their counterpart during task states, following again the core-periphery hierarchy. Finally, we demonstrate that the longer window (ACW-0) exhibits better prediction in classifying a region’s time window as belonging to either core or periphery. Overall, our findings provide fundamental insight into how the human cortex’s temporal hierarchy of intrinsic neural timescales converges with spatial topography, the core-periphery hierarchy.

 bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience

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