Coupling between Intrinsic Prefrontal HbO2 and Central EEG Beta Power Oscillations in the Resting Brain

by Pfurtscheller et al


There is increasing interest in the intrinsic activity in the resting brain, especially that of ultraslow and slow oscillations. Using near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS), electroencephalography (EEG), blood pressure (BP), respiration and heart rate recordings during 5 minutes of rest, combined with cross spectral and sliding cross correlation calculations, we identified a short-lasting coupling (duration  s) between prefrontal oxyhemoglobin (HbO2) in the frequency band between 0.07 and 0.13 Hz and central EEG alpha and/or beta power oscillations in 8 of the 9 subjects investigated. The HbO2 peaks preceded the EEG band power peaks by 3.7 s in 6 subjects, with moderate or no coupling between BP and HbO2 oscillations. HbO2 and EEG band power oscillations were approximately in phase with BP oscillations in the 2 subjects with an extremely high coupling (squared coherence ) between BP and HbO2 oscillation. No coupling was identified in one subject. These results indicate that slow precentral (de)oxyhemoglobin concentration oscillations during awake rest can be temporarily coupled with EEG fluctuations in sensorimotor areas and modulate the excitability level in the brains’ motor areas, respectively. Therefore, this provides support for the idea that resting state networks fluctuate with frequencies of between 0.01 and 0.1 Hz (Mantini PNAS 2007).

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