Resting-state brain and spinal cord networks in humans are functionally integrated

Shahabeddin Vahdat, Ali Khatibi, Ovidiu Lungu, Jürgen Finsterbusch, Christian Büchel, Julien Cohen-Adad, Veronique Marchand-Pauvert, Julien Doyon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
219 Downloads (Pure)


In the absence of any task, both the brain and spinal cord exhibit spontaneous intrinsic activity organized in a set of functionally-relevant neural networks. However, whether such resting-state networks are interconnected across the brain and spinal cord is unclear. Here, we used a unique scanning protocol to acquire functional images of both brain and cervical spinal cord simultaneously, and examined their spatiotemporal correspondence in humans. We show that the brain and spinal cord activities are strongly correlated during rest periods, and specific spinal cord regions are functionally linked to consistently-reported brain sensorimotor resting-state networks. The functional organization of these networks follow the well-established anatomical principles, including the contralateral correspondence between the spinal hemicords and brain hemispheres, as well as sensory vs motor segregation of neural pathways along the brain-spinal cord axis. Thus, our findings reveal a unified functional organization of sensorimotor networks in the entire central nervous system at rest.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere3000789
Number of pages22
JournalPLoS Biology
Issue number7
Early online date2 Jul 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Jul 2020

Bibliographical note

Two first authors (including me) contributed equally to this publication.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Resting-state brain and spinal cord networks in humans are functionally integrated'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this