• fMRI;
  • human brain;
  • spontaneous low-frequency oscillations (SLOs);
  • functional synchrony;
  • functional connectivity


Recent developments in functional MRI (fMRI) technology with high spatial and temporal resolution have made it possible to noninvasively detect spontaneous low-frequency oscillations (SLOs) and quantify their functional synchrony in the human brain. In the present fMRI study the dynamic characteristics of the functional synchrony between SLOs were quantitatively determined by the phase shift index (PSI). With the use of an fMRI-guided voxel-selection method, the SLOs and their functional synchrony were found to be modulated by different memory tasks. The results demonstrate that SLOs in episodic memory-related circuitry have significantly higher synchrony during the performance of declarative memory-encoding activities compared to nondeclarative memory-encoding activities. It is suggested that the dynamic property of SLOs and the quantitative assessment of their functional synchrony could be utilized as a biomarker to noninvasively characterize localized pathophysiological functions in the human brain. Magn Reson Med, 2006. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.