Connectivity-based parcellation of human cingulate cortex and its relation to functional specialization.
Beckmann M., Johansen-Berg H., Rushworth MFS.
Whole-brain neuroimaging studies have demonstrated regional variations in function within human cingulate cortex. At the same time, regional variations in cingulate anatomical connections have been found in animal models. It has, however, been difficult to estimate the relationship between connectivity and function throughout the whole cingulate cortex within the human brain. In this study, magnetic resonance diffusion tractography was used to investigate cingulate probabilistic connectivity in the human brain with two approaches. First, an algorithm was used to search for regional variations in the probabilistic connectivity profiles of all cingulate cortex voxels with the whole of the rest of the brain. Nine subregions with distinctive connectivity profiles were identified. It was possible to characterize several distinct areas in the dorsal cingulate sulcal region. Several distinct regions were also found in subgenual and perigenual cortex. Second, the probabilities of connection between cingulate cortex and 11 predefined target regions of interest were calculated. Cingulate voxels with a high probability of connection with the different targets formed separate clusters within cingulate cortex. Distinct connectivity fingerprints characterized the likelihood of connections between the extracingulate target regions and the nine cingulate subregions. Last, a meta-analysis of 171 functional studies reporting cingulate activation was performed. Seven different cognitive conditions were selected and peak activation coordinates were plotted to create maps of functional localization within the cingulate cortex. Regional functional specialization was found to be related to regional differences in probabilistic anatomical connectivity.