Recent research in brain imaging has highlighted the role of different neural networks in the resting state (ie, no task) in which the brain displays spontaneous low-frequency neuronal oscillations. These can be indirectly measured with resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging, and functional connectivity can be inferred as the spatiotemporal correlations of this signal. This technique has proliferated in recent years and has allowed the noninvasive investigation of large-scale, distributed functional networks. In this review, we give a brief overview of resting-state networks and examine the use of resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging in neurosurgical contexts, specifically with respect to neurooncology, epilepsy surgery, and deep brain stimulation. We discuss the advantages and disadvantages compared with task-based functional magnetic resonance imaging, the limitations of resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging, and the emerging directions of this relatively new technology.
ABBREVIATIONS: BOLD, blood oxygen level-dependent
DBS, deep brain stimulation
ICA, independent component analysis
MTLE, medial temporal lobe epilepsy
ROI, region of interest
rs-fMRI, resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging
RSN, resting-state network