Electrophysiological signatures of spontaneous BOLD fluctuations in macaque prefrontal cortex

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Spontaneous brain activity is ubiquitous across brain structures and states. Determining the role of these metabolically costly intrinsic events may be critical for understanding the brain's fundamental physiological principles that govern cognition and behavior. To date, most investigations of large-scale fluctuations and their coupling have been conducted using electro- or magneto-encephalography, modalities that are limited in their ability to spatially resolve the origin of the signals. Invasive, electrophysiological local field potential (LFP) recordings are limited in their spatial range and studies combining the approach with functional imaging have been primarily relegated to sensory/motor areas with little basis in which to extrapolate findings to evolutionarily newer prefrontal cortical regions. Here, we acquired spontaneous fMRI data in two anesthetized macaque monkeys (Macaca fascicularis) at 7 T together with simultaneous recordings of intracortical LFPs recorded bilaterally from the prefrontal cortex (area 9/46d). High (beta-low gamma) and low (delta-theta) band-limited power (BLP) ranges of the LFP frequencies were anticorrelated in the absence of any explicit stimuli. Beyond the high LFP-BLP signal being correlated with BOLD activity at the recording site, the high and low LFP-BLP envelopes were shown to be significantly correlated with spontaneous BOLD activity recorded from positively and negatively connected prefrontal network regions, respectively. The results suggest that complementary changes in low and high frequency bands may be an intrinsic property of LFPs, that local prefrontal cortical activity is related to spontaneous BOLD fluctuations, and further, that LFP-BLPs may be correlated at a network level.