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Poster A35

Magnetoencephalography highlights the relationship between alpha power and patterns of ongoing thought

Poster Session A - Saturday, April 13, 2024, 2:30 – 4:30 pm EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

Jaana Simola1 (, Linda Henriksson2, Elizabeth Jefferies3, Jonathan Smallwood4; 1University of Helsinki, Finland, 2Aalto University, Finland, 3University of York, UK, 4Queen's University, Canada

Patterns of thought vary across situations and change with time and within an individual. Electroencephalography (EEG) studies suggest alpha power is a useful way to distinguish between different thought patterns, however, the spatial organization of the oscillatory dynamics and how these relate to different thought patterns remains poorly understood. We recorded magnetoencephalography (MEG) data from 47 volunteers and combined the MEG recordings with multidimensional experience sampling (mDES) to assess the spatial organization of oscillatory dynamics underlying different patterns of ongoing thought. Our task included two conditions which varied on their reliance on external attention. A principal component analysis (PCA) of the mDES data revealed four ongoing thought patterns including two off-task states (social thoughts related to future and self vs. past and others) and two on-task states (imagery vs. verbal cognition). The oscillations were quantified as power of different frequency bands for cortically reconstructed 400 sources that were averaged to 17 Yeo networks. Alpha power was stronger in the lateral temporal, visual, and posterior medial cortex areas during the easier task that relied less on external attention. Further, alpha power in areas that corresponded to visual, dorsal attention, control and default mode networks were linked to the occurrence of thoughts with episodic-social features in the easy task. These results support a role of increased alpha power to the emergence of self-generated thoughts that transcend the here and now.

Topic Area: ATTENTION: Other


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April 13–16  |  2024