Sharing self-related information is associated with intrinsic functional connectivity of cortical midline brain regions.
Meshi D., Mamerow L., Kirilina E., Morawetz C., Margulies DS., Heekeren HR.
Human beings are social animals and they vary in the degree to which they share information about themselves with others. Although brain networks involved in self-related cognition have been identified, especially via the use of resting-state experiments, the neural circuitry underlying individual differences in the sharing of self-related information is currently unknown. Therefore, we investigated the intrinsic functional organization of the brain with respect to participants' degree of self-related information sharing using resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging and self-reported social media use. We conducted seed-based correlation analyses in cortical midline regions previously shown in meta-analyses to be involved in self-referential cognition: the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC), central precuneus (CP), and caudal anterior cingulate cortex (CACC). We examined whether and how functional connectivity between these regions and the rest of the brain was associated with participants' degree of self-related information sharing. Analyses revealed associations between the MPFC and right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), as well as the CP with the right DLPFC, the left lateral orbitofrontal cortex and left anterior temporal pole. These findings extend our present knowledge of functional brain connectivity, specifically demonstrating how the brain's intrinsic functional organization relates to individual differences in the sharing of self-related information.