The Role of Default Network Deactivation in Cognition and Disease.

Abraham Ribicoff Research Facilities, Connecticut Mental Health Center, Department of Psychiatry, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06519, USA. Electronic address: .
Trends in Cognitive Sciences (Impact Factor: 21.97). 11/2012; 16(12). DOI: 10.1016/j.tics.2012.10.008
Source: PubMed


A considerable body of evidence has accumulated over recent years on the functions of the default-mode network (DMN) - a set of brain regions whose activity is high when the mind is not engaged in specific behavioral tasks and low during focused attention on the external environment. In this review, we focus on DMN suppression and its functional role in health and disease, summarizing evidence that spans several disciplines, including cognitive neuroscience, pharmacological neuroimaging, clinical neuroscience, and theoretical neuroscience. Collectively, this research highlights the functional relevance of DMN suppression for goal-directed cognition, possibly by reducing goal-irrelevant functions supported by the DMN (e.g., mind-wandering), and illustrates the functional significance of DMN suppression deficits in severe mental illness.

Download full-text


Available from: Alan Anticevic, Oct 06, 2015
50 Reads
  • Source
    • "In line with this notion, functional imaging studies that rely on internal attention report active involvement of the precuneus in processes such as episodic memory retrieval or self-processing operations (Cavanna and Trimble, 2006). More generally, DMN-activation can be observed during various kinds of loose self-referential thought or " mind wandering " (Spreng, 2012; see also Anticevic et al., 2012). These functions may directly relate to creativity, as creative cognition has long been hypothesized to draw strongly upon primary process cognition (Kris, 1952), i.e. autonomous and associative processing with an internal focus of attention that goes along with increased EEG alpha power (Fink and Benedek, 2014a). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: There is increasing research interest in the structural and functional brain correlates underlying creative potential. Recent investigations found that interindividual differences in creative potential relate to volumetric differences in brain regions belonging to the default mode network, such as the precuneus. Yet, the complex interplay between creative potential, intelligence, and personality traits and their respective neural bases are still under debate. We investigated regional gray matter volume (rGMV) differences that can be associated with creative potential in a heterogeneous sample of N = 135 individuals using voxel-based morphometry (VBM). By means of latent variable modeling and consideration of recent psychometric advancements in creativity research, we sought to disentangle the effects of ideational originality and fluency as two independent indicators of creative potential. Intelligence and openness to experience were considered as common covariates of creative potential. The results confirmed and extended previous research: rGMV in the precuneus was associated with ideational originality, but not with ideational fluency. In addition, we found ideational originality to be correlated with rGMV in the caudate nucleus. The results indicate that the ability to produce original ideas is tied to default-mode as well as dopaminergic structures. These structural brain correlates of ideational originality were apparent throughout the whole range of intellectual ability and thus not moderated by intelligence. In contrast, structural correlates of ideational flueny, a quantitative marker of creative potential, were observed only in lower intelligent individuals in the cuneus / lingual gyrus.
    NeuroImage 12/2015; 7. DOI:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2015.02.002 · 6.36 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "Cognitive impairments in SZ may not only be associated with the failure to recruit the fronto-parietal network, but also a relative lack of DMN deactivation (Whitfield-Gabrieli and Ford, 2012). In line with this, a failure of DMN deactivation may reflect a key feature of SZ (Broyd et al., 2009; Landin-Romero et al., 2015; Pomarol-Clotet et al., 2008), and the reciprocity between these two networks may be affected in patients (Anticevic et al., 2013; Nygard et al., 2012; Whitfield-Gabrieli et al., 2009). Structural brain abnormalities have been consistently reported in patients with SZ, including reductions in cortical thickness, surface area, gray matter volumes, and gyrification (Ellison-Wright and Bullmore, 2010; Gupta et al., 2015; Nesvag et al., 2014; Rimol et al., 2010; Rimol et al., 2012), global and subcortical volumes (van Erp et al., 2015), as well as white matter microstructure as measured by diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) (Ellison-Wright and Bullmore, 2009). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Schizophrenia (SZ) is a psychotic disorder with significant cognitive dysfunction. Abnormal brain activation during cognitive processing has been reported, both in task-positive and task-negative networks. Further, structural cortical and subcortical brain abnormalities have been documented, but little is known about how task-related brain activation is associated with brain anatomy in SZ compared to healthy controls (HC). Utilizing linked independent component analysis (LICA), a data-driven multimodal analysis approach, we investigated structure–function associations in a large sample of SZ (n = 96) and HC (n = 142). We tested for associations between task-positive (fronto-parietal) and task-negative (default-mode) brain networks derived from fMRI activation during an n-back working memory task, and brain structural measures of surface area, cortical thickness, and gray matter volume, and to what extent these associations differed in SZ compared to HC. A significant association (p b .05, corrected for multiple comparisons) was found between a component reflecting the task-positive fronto-parietal network and another component reflecting cortical thickness in fronto-temporal brain regions in SZ, indicating increased activation with increased thickness. Other structure–function associations across, between and within groups were generally moderate and significant at a nominal p-level only, with more numerous and stronger associations in SZ compared to HC. These results indicate a complex pattern of moderate associations between brain activation during cognitive processing and brain morphometry, and extend previous findings of fronto-temporal brain abnormalities in SZ by suggesting a coupling between cortical thickness of these brain regions and working memory-related brain activation.
  • Source
    • "The deactivation of the DMN serves to suppress irrelevant thoughts and focus more attention on the task. Insufficient suppression of the DMN leads to attention lapses (Weissman et al., 2006), poor cognitive task performance and even mental illness (Anticevic et al., 2012). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: An extensive body of literature has indicated that there is increased activity in the frontoparietal control network (FPC) and decreased activity in the default mode network (DMN) during working memory (WM) tasks. The FPC and DMN operate in a competitive relationship during tasks requiring externally-directed attention. However, the association between this FPC-DMN competition and performance in social WM tasks has rarely been reported in previous studies. To investigate this question, we measured FPC-DMN connectivity during resting-state and two emotional face recognition WM tasks using the 2-back paradigm. Thirty-four individuals were instructed to perform the tasks based on either the expression (EMO) or the identity (ID) of the same set of face stimuli. Consistent with previous studies, an increased anti-correlation between the FPC and DMN was observed during both tasks relative to the resting-state. Specifically, this anti-correlation during the EMO task was stronger than during the ID task, as the former has a higher social load. Intriguingly, individual differences in self-reported empathy were significantly correlated with the FPC-DMN anti-correlation in the EMO task. These results indicate that the top-down signals from the FPC suppress the DMN to support social WM and empathy. © The Author (2015). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email:
    Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience 08/2015; 10(8). DOI:10.1093/scan/nsu160 · 7.37 Impact Factor
Show more