Body position alters human resting-state: Insights from multi-postural magnetoencephalography
Neuroimaging researchers tacitly assume that body-position scantily affects neural activity. However, whereas participants in most psychological experiments sit upright, many modern neuroimaging techniques (e.g., fMRI) require participants to lie supine. Sparse findings from electroencephalography and positron emission tomography suggest that body position influences cognitive processes and neural activity. Here we leverage multi-postural magnetoencephalography (MEG) to further unravel how physical stance alters baseline brain activity. We present resting-state MEG data from 12 healthy participants in three orthostatic conditions (i.e., lying supine, reclined at 45°, and sitting upright). Our findings demonstrate that upright, compared to reclined or supine, posture increases left-hemisphere high-frequency oscillatory activity over common speech areas. This proof-of-concept experiment establishes the feasibility of using MEG to examine the influence of posture on brain dynamics. We highlight the advantages and methodological challenges inherent to this approach and lay the foundation for future studies to further investigate this important, albeit little-acknowledged, procedural caveat.
KeywordsMEG Neuroimaging Posture Supine position Upright position
Dr. Amir Raz acknowledges funding from the Canada Research Chair program, Discovery and Discovery Acceleration Supplement grants from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and the BIAL Foundation. Robert T. Thibault acknowledges a Fonds de recherche du Québec - Nature et technologies (FRQNT) graduate scholarship and an Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarship from NSERC. Michael Lifshitz acknowledges a Francisco J. Varela Research Award from the Mind and Life Institute and a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship from NSERC.
Conflict of interest
Robert T. Thibault, Michael Lifshitz, and Amir Raz declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, and the applicable revisions at the time of the investigation. Informed consent was obtained from all participants included in the study.
- Agam, Y., Hämäläinen, M. S., Lee, A. K. C., Dyckman, K. a, Friedman, J. S., Isom, M., et al. (2011). Multimodal neuroimaging dissociates hemodynamic and electrophysiological correlates of error processing. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 108(42), 17556–17561. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1103475108
- Alperin, N., Hushek, S. G., Lee, S. H., Sivaramakrishnan, A., & Lichtor, T. (2005). MRI study of cerebral blood flow and CSF flow dynamics in an upright posture: the effect of posture on the intracranial compliance and pressure. Acta Neurochirurgica. Supplement, 95, 177–181 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16463846.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Brookes, M., Woolrich, M., Luckhoo, H., Price, D., Hale, Stephenson, M., et al. (2011). Investigating the electrophysiological basis of resting state networks using magnetoencephalography. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 108(40), 16783–16788. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1112685108.
- Chang, L.-J., Lin, J.-F., Lin, C.-F., Wu, K.-T., Wang, Y.-M., & Kuo, C.-D. (2011). Effect of body position on bilateral EEG alterations and their relationship with autonomic nervous modulation in normal subjects. Neuroscience Letters, 490(2), 96–100. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2010.12.034.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- De Pasquale, F., Della Penna, S., Snyder, A. Z., Lewis, C., Mantini, D., Marzetti, L., et al. (2010). Temporal dynamics of spontaneous MEG activity in brain networks. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107(13), 6040–6045. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0913863107.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Mohrman, D. E., & Heller, L. J. (2003). Cardiovascular Physiology. New York: Lange Medical Books/McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
- Okamoto, M., Dan, H., Sakamoto, K., Takeo, K., Shimizu, K., Kohno, S., et al. (2004). Three-dimensional probabilistic anatomical cranio-cerebral correlation via the international 10-20 system oriented for transcranial functional brain mapping. NeuroImage, 21(1), 99–111. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2003.08.026.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Ouchi, Y., Yoshikawa, E., Kanno, T., Futatsubashi, M., Sekine, Y., Okada, H., et al. (2005). Orthostatic posture affects brain hemodynamics and metabolism in cerebrovascular disease patients with and without coronary artery disease: a positron emission tomography study. NeuroImage, 24(1), 70–81. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2004.07.044.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Raz, A., Lieber, B., Soliman, F., Buhle, J., Posner, J., Peterson, B. S., & Posner, M. I. (2005). Ecological nuances in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI): psychological stressors, posture, and hydrostatics. NeuroImage, 25(1), 1–7. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2004.11.015.
- Westfall, P., & Tobias, R. (1999). Advances in multiple comparison and multiple test using the SAS System. In Proceedings of the 24th Annual SAS Users Group International Conference.Google Scholar
- Wolters, C. H., Anwander, A., Tricoche, X., Weinstein, D., Koch, M. A., & MacLeod, R. S. (2006). Influence of tissue conductivity anisotropy on EEG/MEG field and return current computation in a realistic head model: A simulation and visualization study using high-resolution finite element modeling. NeuroImage, 30, 813–826. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2005.10.014.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Yan, C., Liu, D., He, Y., Zou, Q., Zhu, C., Zuo, X., et al. (2009). Spontaneous brain activity in the default mode network is sensitive to different resting-state conditions with limited cognitive load. PloS one, 4(5), e5743. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0005743.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar