Different neural manifestations of two slow frequency bands in resting functional magnetic resonance imaging: a systemic survey at regional, interregional, and network levels

Shao-Wei Xue, Da Li, Xu-Chu Weng, Georg Franz Josef Northoff, Dian-Wen Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Citations (Scopus)


Temporal and spectral perspectives are two fundamental facets in deciphering fluctuating signals. In resting state, the dynamics of blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signals recorded by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) have been proven to be strikingly informative (0.01-0.1 Hz). The distinction between slow-4 (0.027-0.073 Hz) and slow-5 (0.01-0.027 Hz) has been described, but the pertinent data have never been systematically investigated. This study used fMRI to measure spontaneous brain activity and to explore the different spectral characteristics of slow-4 and slow-5 at regional, interregional, and network levels, respectively assessed by regional homogeneity (ReHo) and mean amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation (mALFF), functional connectivity (FC) patterns, and graph theory. Results of paired t-tests supported/replicated recent research dividing low-frequency BOLD fluctuation into slow-4 and slow-5 for ReHo and mALFF. Interregional analyses showed that for brain regions reaching statistical significance, FC strengths at slow-4 were always weaker than those at slow-5. Community detection algorithm was applied to FC data and unveiled two modules sensitive to frequency effects: one comprised sensorimotor structure, and the other encompassed limbic/paralimbic system. Graph theoretical analysis verified that slow-4 and slow-5 differed in local segregation measures. Although the manifestation of frequency differences seemed complicated, the associated brain regions can be grossly categorized into limbic/paralimbic, midline, and sensorimotor systems. Our results suggest that future resting fMRI research addressing the three above systems either from neuropsychiatric or psychological perspectives may consider using spectrum-specific analytical strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)242-255
Number of pages14
JournalBrain Connectivity
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes



  • community detection
  • functional connectivity
  • functional magnetic resonance imaging
  • graph theory
  • mean amplitude of lower frequency fluctuation
  • regional homogeneity
  • oxygen
  • adult
  • blood
  • brain
  • brain mapping
  • human
  • nerve cell network
  • nerve tract
  • nuclear magnetic resonance imaging
  • physiology
  • procedures
  • rest
  • young adult
  • Adult
  • Brain
  • Brain Mapping
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Nerve Net
  • Neural Pathways
  • Oxygen
  • Rest
  • Young Adult

Cite this