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Poster E136

Individual Differences in Neural Correlates of Spontaneous Thought: A Personalized Brain Network Approach

Poster Session E - Monday, April 15, 2024, 2:30 – 4:30 pm EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

Tiara Bounyarith1 (, Shao-Min Hung2, Nathan Anderson3, Rodrigo Braga3, Aaron Kucyi1; 1Drexel University, 2Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan, 3Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine

Neuroimaging studies have demonstrated a positive correlation between self-reported mind-wandering and activation of the default mode network (DMN), while relationships with other brain networks have been inconsistent across studies. To date, these studies have relied on use of population-averaged templates which carry the assumption that spatial arrangements of networks are similar between all individuals. Recent advances in “precision functional mapping” reveal that the topography of networks, including the DMN, varies substantially between people. In this study, we sought to examine the relationship between mind wandering and activation within personalized functional networks. Three subjects’ mind wandering experiences were densely sampled (> 300 thought probes per subject) whilst undergoing multiple sessions of fMRI (6 sessions per subject). For each subject, we mapped 17 personalized functional networks using multi-session hierarchical Bayesian modeling. Activation of a specific DMN subnetwork (“DN-A”) was significantly positively correlated with trial-wise mind wandering ratings within each subject, though the timing of peak correlation relative to thought probe onset varied across subjects. Outside of DMN, personalized brain networks showed complex patterns of distinct positive and negative correlations with mind-wandering reports across individuals. For instance, while DN-A and dorsal attention network were, respectively, most positively and negatively associated with mind-wandering in Subject 1, such associations were found for a language-related and visual networks in other subjects. Our findings highlight the importance of accounting for individual-level functional anatomy and suggest that distinct neural signatures may be connected to the variability of the contents and dynamics of mind-wandering across individuals.

Topic Area: THINKING: Other


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