Journal Article Functional MRI neurofeedback training on connectivity between two regions induces long-lasting changes in intrinsic functional network

Megumi, Fukuda  ,  Yamashita, Ayumu  ,  Kawato, Mitsuo  ,  Imamizu, Hiroshi

92015-03-30 , Frontiers
Motor or perceptual learning is known to influence functional connectivity between brain regions and induce short-term changes in the intrinsic functional networks revealed as correlations in slow blood-oxygen-level dependent (BOLD) signal fluctuations. However, no cause-and-effect relationship has been elucidated between a specific change in connectivity and a long-term change in global networks. Here, we examine the hypothesis that functional connectivity (i.e., temporal correlation between two regions) is increased and preserved for a long time when two regions are simultaneously activated or deactivated. Using the connectivity-neurofeedback training paradigm, subjects successfully learned to increase the correlation of activity between the lateral parietal and primary motor areas, regions that belong to different intrinsic networks and negatively correlated before training under the resting conditions. Furthermore, whole-brain hypothesis-free analysis as well as functional network analyses demonstrated that the correlation in the resting state between these areas as well as the correlation between the intrinsic networks that include the areas increased for at least 2 months. These findings indicate that the connectivity-neurofeedback training can cause long-term changes in intrinsic connectivity and that intrinsic networks can be shaped by experience-driven modulation of regional correlation.

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