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Keywords:

  • brain development;
  • fMRI;
  • resting state fMRI;
  • chaos theory;
  • complexity;
  • power law;
  • avalanche dynamics;
  • regional homogeneity;
  • fcMRI;
  • 1/f;
  • long memory

Very low-frequency blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) fluctuations have emerged as a valuable tool for describing brain anatomy, neuropathology, and development. Such fluctuations exhibit power law frequency dynamics, with largest amplitude at lowest frequencies. The biophysical mechanisms generating such fluctuations are poorly understood. Using publicly available data from 1,019 subjects of age 7–30, we show that BOLD fluctuations exhibit temporal complexity that is linearly related to local connectivity (regional homogeneity), consistently and significantly covarying across subjects and across gray matter regions. This relationship persisted independently of covariance with gray matter density or standard deviation of BOLD signal. During late neurodevelopment, BOLD fluctuations were unchanged with age in association cortex while becoming more random throughout the rest of the brain. These data suggest that local interconnectivity may play a key role in establishing the complexity of low-frequency BOLD fluctuations underlying functional magnetic resonance imaging connectivity. Stable low-frequency power dynamics may emerge through segmentation and integration of connectivity during development of distributed large-scale brain networks. Hum Brain Mapp 35:1273–1283, 2014. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.