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

Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience and Division of Psychology and Language Sciences, University College London, London, UK.
NeuroImage (Impact Factor: 6.36). 12/2010; 53(4):1359-67. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2010.07.032
Source: PubMed


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.

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    • "anterior medial PFC has also been shown to be part of the default mode network, a set of regions that are more active at rest, and are anti-correlated with task-relevant brain regions (Fox et al., 2005; Raichle et al., 2001). Supporting this medial-lateral frontal pole dissociation, Gilbert and colleagues (2010) have demonstrated in a fMRI meta-analysis that the lateral frontal pole typically co-activates with control regions such as DLPFC and IPL whereas the medial frontal pole typically co-activates with default mode network regions. In our study, a specific analysis of the medial frontal pole activity suggested that this region was more deactivated on voluntary trials than on explicit trials. "
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    • "Thus, significant clusters of activation outside the ROI can be interpreted as areas that reliably co-activate with the ROI across studies, for the contrast of interest. A similar logic has been previously employed to identify networks using meta-analyses in other domains (Toro et al., 2008; Smith et al., 2009; Gilbert et al., 2010; Cauda et al., 2011). The ROIs used in the co-activation analysis were constructed using 9 mm radius spheres about peak coordinates of activation taken from the ALE analyses of interest. "
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