The default mode network and the working memory network are not anti-correlated during all phases of a working memory task

T. Piccoli, G. Valente, D.E.J. Linden, M. Re, F. Esposito, A.T. Sack, F. di Salle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: The default mode network and the working memory network are known to be anti-correlated during sustained cognitive processing, in a load-dependent manner. We hypothesized that functional connectivity among nodes of the two networks could be dynamically modulated by task phases across time. METHODS: To address the dynamic links between default mode network and the working memory network, we used a delayed visuo-spatial working memory paradigm, which allowed us to separate three different phases of working memory (encoding, maintenance, and retrieval), and analyzed the functional connectivity during each phase within and between the default mode network and the working memory network networks. RESULTS: We found that the two networks are anti-correlated only during the maintenance phase of working memory, i.e. when attention is focused on a memorized stimulus in the absence of external input. Conversely, during the encoding and retrieval phases, when the external stimulation is present, the default mode network is positively coupled with the working memory network, suggesting the existence of a dynamically switching of functional connectivity between "task-positive" and "task-negative" brain networks. CONCLUSIONS: Our results demonstrate that the well-established dichotomy of the human brain (anti-correlated networks during rest and balanced activation-deactivation during cognition) has a more nuanced organization than previously thought and engages in different patterns of correlation and anti-correlation during specific sub-phases of a cognitive task. This nuanced organization reinforces the hypothesis of a direct involvement of the default mode network in cognitive functions, as represented by a dynamic rather than static interaction with specific task-positive networks, such as the working memory network.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0123354
Number of pages16
JournalPLOS ONE
Volume10
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Apr 2015

Keywords

  • FUNCTIONAL CONNECTIVITY
  • RESTING-STATE
  • CINGULATE CORTEX
  • PARIETAL CORTEX
  • BRAIN-FUNCTION
  • FLUCTUATIONS
  • RETRIEVAL
  • MODULATION
  • ALZHEIMERS
  • COMPONENT

Cite this

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title = "The default mode network and the working memory network are not anti-correlated during all phases of a working memory task",
abstract = "INTRODUCTION: The default mode network and the working memory network are known to be anti-correlated during sustained cognitive processing, in a load-dependent manner. We hypothesized that functional connectivity among nodes of the two networks could be dynamically modulated by task phases across time. METHODS: To address the dynamic links between default mode network and the working memory network, we used a delayed visuo-spatial working memory paradigm, which allowed us to separate three different phases of working memory (encoding, maintenance, and retrieval), and analyzed the functional connectivity during each phase within and between the default mode network and the working memory network networks. RESULTS: We found that the two networks are anti-correlated only during the maintenance phase of working memory, i.e. when attention is focused on a memorized stimulus in the absence of external input. Conversely, during the encoding and retrieval phases, when the external stimulation is present, the default mode network is positively coupled with the working memory network, suggesting the existence of a dynamically switching of functional connectivity between {"}task-positive{"} and {"}task-negative{"} brain networks. CONCLUSIONS: Our results demonstrate that the well-established dichotomy of the human brain (anti-correlated networks during rest and balanced activation-deactivation during cognition) has a more nuanced organization than previously thought and engages in different patterns of correlation and anti-correlation during specific sub-phases of a cognitive task. This nuanced organization reinforces the hypothesis of a direct involvement of the default mode network in cognitive functions, as represented by a dynamic rather than static interaction with specific task-positive networks, such as the working memory network.",
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The default mode network and the working memory network are not anti-correlated during all phases of a working memory task. / Piccoli, T.; Valente, G.; Linden, D.E.J.; Re, M.; Esposito, F.; Sack, A.T.; di Salle, F.

In: PLOS ONE, Vol. 10, No. 4, e0123354, 07.04.2015.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - The default mode network and the working memory network are not anti-correlated during all phases of a working memory task

AU - Piccoli, T.

AU - Valente, G.

AU - Linden, D.E.J.

AU - Re, M.

AU - Esposito, F.

AU - Sack, A.T.

AU - di Salle, F.

PY - 2015/4/7

Y1 - 2015/4/7

N2 - INTRODUCTION: The default mode network and the working memory network are known to be anti-correlated during sustained cognitive processing, in a load-dependent manner. We hypothesized that functional connectivity among nodes of the two networks could be dynamically modulated by task phases across time. METHODS: To address the dynamic links between default mode network and the working memory network, we used a delayed visuo-spatial working memory paradigm, which allowed us to separate three different phases of working memory (encoding, maintenance, and retrieval), and analyzed the functional connectivity during each phase within and between the default mode network and the working memory network networks. RESULTS: We found that the two networks are anti-correlated only during the maintenance phase of working memory, i.e. when attention is focused on a memorized stimulus in the absence of external input. Conversely, during the encoding and retrieval phases, when the external stimulation is present, the default mode network is positively coupled with the working memory network, suggesting the existence of a dynamically switching of functional connectivity between "task-positive" and "task-negative" brain networks. CONCLUSIONS: Our results demonstrate that the well-established dichotomy of the human brain (anti-correlated networks during rest and balanced activation-deactivation during cognition) has a more nuanced organization than previously thought and engages in different patterns of correlation and anti-correlation during specific sub-phases of a cognitive task. This nuanced organization reinforces the hypothesis of a direct involvement of the default mode network in cognitive functions, as represented by a dynamic rather than static interaction with specific task-positive networks, such as the working memory network.

AB - INTRODUCTION: The default mode network and the working memory network are known to be anti-correlated during sustained cognitive processing, in a load-dependent manner. We hypothesized that functional connectivity among nodes of the two networks could be dynamically modulated by task phases across time. METHODS: To address the dynamic links between default mode network and the working memory network, we used a delayed visuo-spatial working memory paradigm, which allowed us to separate three different phases of working memory (encoding, maintenance, and retrieval), and analyzed the functional connectivity during each phase within and between the default mode network and the working memory network networks. RESULTS: We found that the two networks are anti-correlated only during the maintenance phase of working memory, i.e. when attention is focused on a memorized stimulus in the absence of external input. Conversely, during the encoding and retrieval phases, when the external stimulation is present, the default mode network is positively coupled with the working memory network, suggesting the existence of a dynamically switching of functional connectivity between "task-positive" and "task-negative" brain networks. CONCLUSIONS: Our results demonstrate that the well-established dichotomy of the human brain (anti-correlated networks during rest and balanced activation-deactivation during cognition) has a more nuanced organization than previously thought and engages in different patterns of correlation and anti-correlation during specific sub-phases of a cognitive task. This nuanced organization reinforces the hypothesis of a direct involvement of the default mode network in cognitive functions, as represented by a dynamic rather than static interaction with specific task-positive networks, such as the working memory network.

KW - FUNCTIONAL CONNECTIVITY

KW - RESTING-STATE

KW - CINGULATE CORTEX

KW - PARIETAL CORTEX

KW - BRAIN-FUNCTION

KW - FLUCTUATIONS

KW - RETRIEVAL

KW - MODULATION

KW - ALZHEIMERS

KW - COMPONENT

U2 - 10.1371/journal.pone.0123354

DO - 10.1371/journal.pone.0123354

M3 - Article

VL - 10

JO - PLOS ONE

JF - PLOS ONE

SN - 1932-6203

IS - 4

M1 - e0123354

ER -