Intrinsic neural timescales relate to the dynamics of infraslow neural waves

Yujia Ao, Yasir Catal, Stephan Lechner, Jingyu Hua, Georg Northoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The human brain is a highly dynamic organ that operates across a variety of timescales, the intrinsic neural timescales (INT). In addition to the INT, the neural waves featured by its phase-related processes including their cycles with peak/trough and rise/fall play a key role in shaping the brain's neural activity. However, the relationship between the brain's ongoing wave dynamics and INT remains yet unclear. In this study, we utilized functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) rest and task data from the Human Connectome Project (HCP) to investigate the relationship of infraslow wave dynamics [as measured in terms of speed by changes in its peak frequency (PF)] with INT. Our findings reveal that: (i) the speed of phase dynamics (PF) is associated with distinct parts of the ongoing phase cycles, namely higher PF in peak/trough and lower PF in rise/fall; (ii) there exists a negative correlation between phase dynamics (PF) and INT such that slower PF relates to longer INT; (iii) exposure to a movie alters both PF and INT across the different phase cycles, yet their negative correlation remains intact. Collectively, our results demonstrate that INT relates to infraslow phase dynamics during both rest and task states.

Original languageEnglish
Article number120482
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • Functional magnetic resonance imaging
  • Infraslow neural waves
  • Intrinsic neural timescales
  • Temporal input processing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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