Alterations in resting functional connectivity due to recent motor task

Kuang Chi Tung, Jinsoo Uh, Deng Mao, Feng Xu, Guanghua Xiao, Hanzhang Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


The impact of recent experiences of task performance on resting functional connectivity MRI (fcMRI) has important implications for the design of many neuroimaging studies, because, if an effect is present, the fcMRI scan then must be performed before any evoked fMRI or after a time gap to allow it to dissipate. The present study aims to determine the effect of simple button presses, which are used in many cognitive fMRI tasks as a response recording method, on later acquired fcMRI data. Human volunteers were subject to a 23-minute button press motor task. Their resting-state brain activity before and after the task was assessed with fcMRI. It was found that, compared to the pre-task resting period, the post-task resting fcMRI revealed a significantly higher (p. =. 0.002, N. =. 24) cross correlation coefficient (CC) between left and right motor cortices. These changes were not present in sham control studies that matched the paradigm timing but had no actual task. The amplitude of fcMRI signal fluctuation (AF) also demonstrated an increase in the post-task period compared to pre-task. These changes were observed using both the right-hand-only task and the two-hand task. Study of the recovery time course of these effects revealed that the CC changes lasted for about 5. min while the AF change lasted for at least 15. min. Finally, voxelwise analysis revealed that the pre/post-task differences were also observed in several other brain regions, including the auditory cortex, visual areas, and the thalamus. Our data suggest that the recent performance of the simple button press task can result in elevated fcMRI CC and AF in relevant brain networks and that fcMRI scan should be performed either before evoked fMRI or after a sufficient time gap following fMRI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)316-324
Number of pages9
StatePublished - Sep 2013


  • Blood oxygenation
  • Functional connectivity MRI
  • Motor cortex
  • Resting state

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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