Distinct criticality of phase and amplitude dynamics in the resting brain

Andreas Daffertshofer*, Robert Ton, Morten L. Kringelbach, Mark Woolrich, Gustavo Deco

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Converging research suggests that the resting brain operates at the cusp of dynamic instability, as signified by scale-free temporal correlations. We asked whether the scaling properties of these correlations differ between amplitude and phase fluctuations, which may reflect different aspects of cortical functioning. Using source-reconstructed magneto-encephalographic signals, we found power-law scaling for the collective amplitude and for phase synchronization, both capturing whole-brain activity. The temporal changes of the amplitude comprise slow, persistent memory processes, whereas phase synchronization exhibits less temporally structured and more complex correlations, indicating a fast and flexible coding. This distinct temporal scaling supports the idea of different roles of amplitude and phase fluctuations in cortical functioning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)442-447
Number of pages6
Issue numberPart B
Early online date9 Mar 2018
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018


  • Amplitude
  • Criticality
  • DFA
  • Phase
  • Power laws


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