Catie Chang1, Coraline D. Metzger2, Gary H. Glover3, Martin Walter4
1Advanced MRI section, NINDS, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, United States; 2Department of Psychiatry, Otto-von-Guericke University, Magdeburg, Germany; 3Department of Radiology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, United States; 4Department of Psychiatry, Otto-von-Guericke University,, Magdeburg, Germany
It was previously observed that functional connectivity exhibits dynamic changes over the course of a resting-state fMRI scan. The origins and relevance of such fluctuations, however, are not clear. Here, we examine whether heart rate variability, an index of psycho-physiological state, covaries with changes in the seed-based functional connectivity maps of regions involved in salience processing (dACC, amygdala). Significant effects were found in multiple cortical and subcortical regions, including thalamus, brainstem, basal ganglia, and insula, suggesting that fluctuations in autonomic or emotional processes may constitute one source of spontaneous connectivity variation.