Functional and developmental significance of amplitude variance asymmetry in the BOLD resting-state signal

Ben Davis, Jorge Jovicich, Vittorio Iacovella, Uri Hasson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


It is known that the brain's resting-state activity (RSA) is organized in low frequency oscillations that drive network connectivity. Recent research has also shown that elements of RSA described by high-frequency and nonoscillatory properties are non-random and functionally relevant. Motivated by this research, we investigated nonoscillatory aspects of the blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) RSA using a novel method for characterizing subtle fluctuation dynamics. The metric that we develop quantifies the relative variance of the amplitude of local-maxima and local-minima in a BOLD time course (amplitude variance asymmetry; AVA). This metric reveals new properties of RSA activity, without relying on connectivity as a descriptive tool. We applied the AVA analysis to data from 3 different participant groups (2 adults, 1 child) collected from 3 different centers. The analyses show that AVA patterns a) identify 3 types of RSA profiles in adults' sensory systems b) differ in topology and pattern of dynamics in adults and children, and c) are stable across magnetic resonance scanners. Furthermore, children with higher IQ demonstrated more adult-like AVA patterns. These findings indicate that AVA reflects important and novel dimensions of brain development and RSA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1332-1350
Number of pages19
JournalCerebral Cortex
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2014
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


  • amplitude asymmetry
  • development
  • nonlinear
  • nonstationary
  • resting-state


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