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Intrinsic timescales as an organizational principle of neural processing across the whole rhesus macaque brain

By Ana M.G. Manea, Anna Zilverstand, Kamil Ugurbil, Sarah R Heilbronner, Jan Zimmermann

Posted 07 Oct 2021
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2021.10.05.463277

Hierarchical temporal dynamics are a fundamental computational property of the brain; however, there are no whole-brain, noninvasive investigations into timescales of neural processing in animal models. To that end, we used the spatial resolution and sensitivity of ultra-high field fMRI to probe timescales across the whole macaque brain. We uncovered within-species consistency between timescales estimated from fMRI and electrophysiology. Crucially, we were not only able to demonstrate that we can replicate existing electrophysiological hierarchies, but we extended these to whole brain topographies. Our results validate the complementary use of hemodynamic and electrophysiological intrinsic timescales, establishing a basis for future translational work. Second, with those results in hand, we were able to show that one facet of the high-dimensional FC topography of any region in the brain is closely related to hierarchical temporal dynamics. We demonstrated that intrinsic timescales are organized along spatial gradients that closely match functional connectivity gradient topographies across the whole brain. We conclude that intrinsic timescales are an unifying organizational principle of neural processing across the whole brain.

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