Gene expression associated with individual variability in intrinsic functional connectivity

Liangfang LI, Yongbin WEI, Jinbo ZHANG, Junji MA, Yangyang YI, Yue GU, Man Wai LI, Ying LIN, Zhengjia DAI

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


It has been revealed that intersubject variability (ISV) in intrinsic functional connectivity (FC) is associated with a wide variety of cognitive and behavioral performances. However, the underlying organizational principle of ISV in FC and its related gene transcriptional profiles remain unclear. Using resting-state fMRI data from the Human Connectome Project (299 adult participants) and microarray gene expression data from the Allen Human Brain Atlas, we conducted a transcription-neuroimaging association study to investigate the spatial configurations of ISV in intrinsic FC and their associations with spatial gene transcriptional profiles. We found that the multimodal association cortices showed the greatest ISV in FC, while the unimodal cortices and subcortical areas showed the least ISV. Importantly, partial least squares regression analysis revealed that the transcriptional profiles of genes associated with human accelerated regions (HARs) could explain 31.29% of the variation in the spatial distribution of ISV in FC. The top-related genes in the transcriptional profiles were enriched for the development of the central nervous system, neurogenesis and the cellular components of synapse. Moreover, we observed that the effect of gene expression profile on the heterogeneous distribution of ISV in FC was significantly mediated by the cerebral blood flow configuration. These findings highlighted the spatial arrangement of ISV in FC and their coupling with variations in transcriptional profiles and cerebral blood flow supply. Copyright © 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Article number118743
Early online dateNov 2021
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


Li, L., Wei, Y., Zhang, J., Ma, J., Yi, Y., Gu, Y., . . . Dai, Z. (2021). Gene expression associated with individual variability in intrinsic functional connectivity. NeuroImage, 245. Retrieved from


  • Intersubject variability
  • Functional connectivity
  • Resting-state fMRI
  • Gene expression
  • Metabolism


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