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Martin Szinte, Daniel M van Es, Tomas Knapen; The visual selectivity of the default mode network. Journal of Vision 2019;19(10):212. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/19.10.212.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
The default mode network (DMN) is a large scale brain network with correlated cortical activities in frontal, parietal and temporal nodes. These nodes deactivate when participants are actively engaged in perceptual tasks, and activate for high-level cognition tasks such as mind wandering and autobiographical memory. While recent findings indicate that activations and deactivations of the DMN carry visual information related to memory, the functional role of its deactivations remains a mystery. Using population receptive field methods (pRF) applied to the Human Connectome Project retinotopy dataset (181 participants, 7T), we show that voxels in the DMN selectively deactivate as a function of the position of a visual stimulus. Moreover, we demonstrate the DMN’s functional representation of visual space by successfully decoding the location of a visual stimulus in a cross-validated analysis of another 7T fMRI dataset. Together, our results establish for the first time the DMN as a visually selective network and open up the possibility of using vision-science paradigms to understand the role of this network in high-level cognition.
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