Despite the prominence of parietal activity in human neuroimaging investigations of sensorimotor and cognitive processes, there remains uncertainty about basic aspects of parietal cortical anatomical organization. Descriptions of human parietal cortex draw heavily on anatomical schemes developed in other primate species, but the validity of such comparisons has been questioned by claims that there are fundamental differences between the parietal cortex in humans and other primates. A scheme is presented for parcellation of human lateral parietal cortex into component regions on the basis of anatomical connectivity and the functional interactions of the resulting clusters with other brain regions. Anatomical connectivity was estimated using diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance image (MRI)-based tractography, and functional interactions were assessed by correlations in activity measured with functional MRI at rest. Resting-state functional connectivity was also assessed directly in the rhesus macaque lateral parietal cortex in an additional experiment, and the patterns found reflected known neuroanatomical connections. Cross-correlation in the tractography-based connectivity patterns of parietal voxels reliably parcellated human lateral parietal cortex into 10 component clusters. The resting-state functional connectivity of human superior parietal and intraparietal clusters with frontal and extrastriate cortex suggested correspondences with areas in macaque superior and intraparietal sulcus. Functional connectivity patterns with parahippocampal cortex and premotor cortex again suggested fundamental correspondences between inferior parietal cortex in humans and macaques. In contrast, the human parietal cortex differs in the strength of its interactions between the central inferior parietal lobule region and the anterior prefrontal cortex.
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