AUTHORS: Wirsich J, Jorge J, Iannotti GR, Shamshiri EA, Grouiller F, Abreu R, Lazeyras F, Giraud AL, Gruetter R, Sadaghiani S, Vulliémoz S

NeuroImage, 231: 117864, May 2021


Both electroencephalography (EEG) and functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) are non-invasive methods that show complementary aspects of human brain activity. Despite measuring different proxies of brain activity, both the measured blood-oxygenation (fMRI) and neurophysiological recordings (EEG) are indirectly coupled. The electrophysiological and BOLD signal can map the underlying functional connectivity structure at the whole brain scale at different timescales. Previous work demonstrated a moderate but significant correlation between resting-state functional connectivity of both modalities, however there is a wide range of technical setups to measure simultaneous EEG-fMRI and the reliability of those measures between different setups remains unknown. This is true notably with respect to different magnetic field strengths (low and high field) and different spatial sampling of EEG (medium to high-density electrode coverage). Here, we investigated the reproducibility of the bimodal EEG-fMRI functional connectome in the most comprehensive resting-state simultaneous EEG-fMRI dataset compiled to date including a total of 72 subjects from four different imaging centers. Data was acquired from 1.5T, 3T and 7T scanners with simultaneously recorded EEG using 64 or 256 electrodes. We demonstrate that the whole-brain monomodal connectivity reproducibly correlates across different datasets and that a moderate crossmodal correlation between EEG and fMRI connectivity of r ≈ 0.3 can be reproducibly extracted in low- and high-field scanners. The crossmodal correlation was strongest in the EEG-β frequency band but exists across all frequency bands. Both homotopic and within intrinsic connectivity network (ICN) connections contributed the most to the crossmodal relationship. This study confirms, using a considerably diverse range of recording setups, that simultaneous EEG-fMRI offers a consistent estimate of multimodal functional connectomes in healthy subjects that are dominantly linked through a functional core of ICNs across spanning across the different timescales measured by EEG and fMRI. This opens new avenues for estimating the dynamics of brain function and provides a better understanding of interactions between EEG and fMRI measures. This observed level of reproducibility also defines a baseline for the study of alterations of this coupling in pathological conditions and their role as potential clinical markers.

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