Echoes of the brain within default mode, association, and heteromodal cortices

Rodrigo M. Braga, David J. Sharp, Clare Leeson, Richard J.S. Wise, Robert Leech*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

95 Scopus citations


Intrinsic connectivity networks (ICNs), such as the default mode, frontoparietal control, and salience networks, provide a useful largescale description of the functional architecture of the brain. Although ICNs are functionally specialized, the information that they process needs to be integrated for coherent cognition, perception, and behavior. A region capable of performing this integration might be expected to contain traces, or "echoes," of the neural signals from multiple ICNs. Here, using fMRI in humans, we show the existence of specific "transmodal" regions containing echoes of multiple ICNs. These regions include core nodes of the default mode network, as well as multimodal association regions of the temporoparietal and temporo-occipito-parietal junction, right middle frontal gyrus, and dorsal anterior cingulate cortex. In contrast, "unimodal" regions such as the primary sensory and motor cortices show a much more singular pattern of activity, containing traces of few or even single ICNs. The presence of ICN echoes might explain how transmodal regions are involved in multiple different cognitive states. Our results suggest that these transmodal regions have a particular local spatial organization containing topographicmapsthat relate to multiple ICNs. This makes transmodal regions uniquely placed to be able to mediate the cross talk between the brain's functional networks through local modulation of adjacent regions that communicate with different ICNs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14031-14039
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number35
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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