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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Neurosci. | doi: 10.3389/fnins.2019.00900

Intrinsic Frequencies of the Resting-state fMRI Signal: The Frequency dependence of Functional Connectivity and the Effect of Mode Mixing

  • 1Rotman Research Institute (RRI), Canada
  • 2Department of Medical Biophysics, University of Toronto, Canada
  • 3University of Toronto, Canada

The frequency characteristics of the resting-state BOLD fMRI (rs-fMRI) signal are of increasing scientific interest, as we discover more frequency-specific biological interpretations. In this work, we use variational mode decomposition (VMD) to precisely decompose the rs-fMRI time series into its intrinsic mode functions (IMFs) in a data-driven manner. The accuracy of the VMD decomposition of constituent IMFs is verified through simulations, with higher reconstruction accuracy and much-reduced mode mixing relative to previous methods. Furthermore, we examine the relative contribution of the VMD-derived modes (frequencies) to the rs-fMRI signal as well as functional connectivity measurements. Our primary findings are: (1) The rs-fMRI signal within the 0.01-0.25 Hz range can be consistently characterized by 4 intrinsic frequency clusters, centred at 0.028 Hz (IMF4), 0.080 Hz (IMF3), 0.15 Hz (IMF2) and 0.22 Hz (IMF1); (2) these frequency clusters were highly reproducible, and independent of rs-fMRI data sampling rate; (3) not all frequencies were associated with equivalent network topology, in contrast to previous findings. In fact, while IMF4 is most likely associated with physiological fluctuations due to respiration and pulse, IMF3 is most likely associated with metabolic processes, and IMF2 with vasomotor activity. Both IMF3 and IMF4 could produce the brain-network topology typically observed in fMRI, whereas IMF1 and IMF2 could not. These findings provide initial evidence of feasibility in decomposing the rs-fMRI signal into its intrinsic oscillatory frequencies in a reproducible manner.

Keywords: Resting-state fMRI, resting state functional connectivity, intrinsic mode function (IMF), frequency dependence characteristics, Variational modal decomposition (VMD), Empirical mode decomposed (EMD), physiological origins

Received: 02 Apr 2019; Accepted: 12 Aug 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Yuen, Osachoff and Chen. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Mx. Jean Chen, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada,