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Distinct functional connectivity associated with lateral versus medial rostral prefrontal cortex: A meta-analysis

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Gilbert, S. J., Gonen-Yaacovi, G., Benoit, R. G., Volle, E., & Burgess, P. W. (2010). Distinct functional connectivity associated with lateral versus medial rostral prefrontal cortex: A meta-analysis. NeuroImage, 53(4), 1359-1367. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2010.07.032.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002B-7D5E-9
Recent studies have shown that functional connectivity in the human brain may be detected by analyzing the likelihood with which different brain regions are simultaneously activated, or “co-activated”, across multiple neuroimaging experiments. We applied this technique to investigate whether distinct subregions within rostral prefrontal cortex (RoPFC) tend to co-activate with distinct sets of brain regions outside RoPFC, in a meta-analysis of 200 activation peaks within RoPFC (approximating Brodmann Area 10) and 1712 co-activations outside this region, drawn from 162 studies. There was little evidence for distinct connectivity between hemispheres or along rostral/caudal or superior/inferior axes. However, there was a clear difference between lateral and medial RoPFC: activation in lateral RoPFC was particularly associated with co-activation in dorsal anterior cingulate, dorsolateral PFC, anterior insula and lateral parietal cortex; medial RoPFC activation was particularly associated with co-activation in posterior cingulate, posterior superior temporal sulcus and temporal pole. These findings are consistent with anatomical studies of connectivity in non-human primates, despite strong cross-species differences in RoPFC. Furthermore, associations between brain regions inside and outside RoPFC were in some cases strongly influenced by the type of task being performed. For example, dorsolateral PFC, anterior cingulate and lateral parietal cortex tended to co-activate with lateral RoPFC in most tasks but with medial RoPFC in tasks involving mentalizing. These results suggest the importance of changes in effective connectivity in the performance of cognitive tasks.