Zoom meeting URL: https://mit.zoom.us/j/94106216215
The correlational structure of brain-wide activity dynamics in the absence of stimuli or behavior is often assumed to reveal intrinsic properties of neural function. To probe the validity of this assumption, we analyzed peripheral contributions to resting state activity measured by fMRI in the rat somatosensory system. We find that perturbation of sensory input pathways alters correlation strengths found throughout the system under a range of behavioral conditions, despite the absence of ostensible stimuli or movements. Differences in peripheral input also help explain a functional connectivity phenotype observed in a rat model of syndromic autism spectrum disorder, emphasizing the relevance of brain-periphery interactions to neurological diagnoses. These results indicate that resting state brain activity arises from a matrix of intrinsic and extrinsic influences.