Evidence from macaque monkey tracing studies suggests connectivity-based subdivisions within the precuneus, offering predictions for similar subdivisions in the human. Here we present functional connectivity analyses of this region using resting-state functional MRI data collected from both humans and macaque monkeys. Three distinct patterns of functional connectivity were demonstrated within the precuneus of both species, with each subdivision suggesting a discrete functional role: (i) the anterior precuneus, functionally connected with the superior parietal cortex, paracentral lobule, and motor cortex, suggesting a sensorimotor region; (ii) the central precuneus, functionally connected to the dorsolateral prefrontal, dorsomedial prefrontal, and multimodal lateral inferior parietal cortex, suggesting a cognitive/associative region; and (iii) the posterior precuneus, displaying functional connectivity with adjacent visual cortical regions. These functional connectivity patterns were differentiated from the more ventral networks associated with the posterior cingulate, which connected with limbic structures such as the medial temporal cortex, dorsal and ventromedial prefrontal regions, posterior lateral inferior parietal regions, and the lateral temporal cortex. Our findings are consistent with predictions from anatomical tracer studies in the monkey, and provide support that resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC) may in part reflect underlying anatomy. These subdivisions within the precuneus suggest that neuroimaging studies will benefit from treating this region as anatomically (and thus functionally) heterogeneous. Furthermore, the consistency between functional connectivity networks in monkeys and humans provides support for RSFC as a viable tool for addressing cross-species comparisons of functional neuroanatomy.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
20069 - 20074
Animals, Brain, Brain Mapping, Humans, Macaca, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Neural Pathways