Cognition and behavior depend on synchronized intrinsic brain activity that is organized into functional networks across the brain. Research has investigated how anatomical connectivity both shapes and is shaped by these networks, but not how anatomical connectivity interacts with intra-areal molecular properties to drive functional connectivity. Here, we present a novel linear model to explain functional connectivity by integrating systematically obtained measurements of axonal connectivity, gene expression, and resting-state functional connectivity MRI in the mouse brain. The model suggests that functional connectivity arises from both anatomical links and inter-areal similarities in gene expression. By estimating these effects, we identify anatomical modules in which correlated gene expression and anatomical connectivity support functional connectivity. Along with providing evidence that not all genes equally contribute to functional connectivity, this research establishes new insights regarding the biological underpinnings of coordinated brain activity measured by BOLD fMRI.
- Anatomical connectivity
- Gene expression
- Resting state functional connectivity MRI
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