Multifractal Dynamic Functional Connectivity in the Resting-State Brain
Frontiers in Physiology
Assessing the functional connectivity (FC) of the brain has proven valuable in enhancing our understanding of brain function. Recent developments in the field demonstrated that FC fluctuates even in the resting state, which has not been taken into account by the widely applied static approaches introduced earlier. In a recent study using functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) global dynamic functional connectivity (DFC) has also been found to fluctuate according to scale-free i.e.,
... l dynamics evidencing the true multifractal (MF) nature of DFC in the human prefrontal cortex. Expanding on these findings, we performed electroencephalography (EEG) measurements in 14 regions over the whole cortex of 24 healthy, young adult subjects in eyes open (EO) and eyes closed (EC) states. We applied dynamic graph theoretical analysis to capture DFC by computing the pairwise time-dependent synchronization between brain regions and subsequently calculating the following dynamic graph topological measures: Density, Clustering Coefficient, and Efficiency. We characterized the dynamic nature of these global network metrics as well as local individual connections in the networks using focus-based multifractal time series analysis in all traditional EEG frequency bands. Global network topological measures were found fluctuating-albeit at different extent-according to true multifractal nature in all frequency bands. Moreover, the monofractal Hurst exponent was found higher during EC than EO in the alpha and beta bands. Individual connections showed a characteristic topology in their fractal properties, with higher autocorrelation owing to short-distance connections-especially those in the frontal and pre-frontal cortex-while long-distance connections linking the occipital to the frontal and pre-frontal areas expressed lower values. The same topology was found with connection-wise multifractality in all but delta band connections, where the very opposite pattern appeared. This resulted in a positive correlation between global autocorrelation and connection-wise multifractality in the higher frequency bands, while a strong anticorrelation in the delta band. The proposed analytical tools allow for capturing the fine details of functional connectivity dynamics that are evidently present in DFC, with the presented results implying that multifractality is indeed an inherent property of both global and local DFC.