Morphologic asymmetry of the human anterior cingulate cortex

Center for Neuropsychological Research, University of Trier, Germany.
NeuroImage (Impact Factor: 6.36). 03/2007; 34(3):888-95. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2006.10.023
Source: PubMed


The anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) is thought to play a major role in executive processes. Studies assessing neuroanatomical attributes of this region report a high degree of morphological variability. Recent theories consider the fissurization of the cortex to be a product of gross mechanical processes related to cortical growth and local cytoarchitectural characteristics. Hence, local sulcal patterning and gray matter volume are supposed to be associated. ACC fissurization was quantified in left- and right-handers of both sexes by recording the presence and extension of the paracingulate sulcus (PCS). Differences between groups regarding local gray matter volume were assessed by means of optimized voxel-based morphometry (oVBM) including additional modulation. Overall, the PCS occurred more often and was more pronounced in the left as compared to the right anterior cingulate region, although hemispheric differences were less pronounced in male left- and female right-handers. These discrepancies between groups seem to stem from variations of cingulate morphology in the left rather than the right hemisphere. The pattern of relevant comparisons in the oVBM analysis indicated a similar interaction. Therefore, evidence was found for discrepancies between groups and hemispheres on the macrostructural level.

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Available from: Rene J Huster, Mar 21, 2014
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    • "In addition, anatomical tracing studies performed in rhesus monkeys point out neurons in the ACC project to the ventral striatum (Selemon and Goldman-Rakic, 1985). Emerging evidences revealed that DA levels, gray matter volume for ACC and rs-FC strength with ACC in the right hemisphere were greater than the left (Afonso et al., 1993; Paus et al., 1996; Huster et al., 2007; Yan et al., 2009; Watanabe et al., 2015). Hence, functional connectivity with the right ACC might be sensitive to slight changes in DA levels, which our research indicates are regulated by the interaction of the BDNF and COMT genes. "
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    ABSTRACT: The frontostriatal system plays a critical role in emotional and cognitive control. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) influences the release of dopamine in the ventral striatum, while catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) impacts dopamine availability in the prefrontal cortex (PFC). Behavioral studies have already shown a genetic interaction of BDNF Val66Met and COMT Val158Met, but the interaction on the dopamine-related neural circuit has not been previously studied. Here we show, using functional magnetic resonance imaging in a sample of healthy human subjects, that BDNF and COMT epistatically interacted on the functional connectivity between the bilateral ventral striatum (VST) and the anterior cingulate cortex. Specifically, BDNF Val66Met impacted the VST-PFC functional connectivity in an inverted U-relationship in COMT Met carriers, while COMT Val homozygotes displayed a U-relationship. These data may be helpful elucidating the mechanism of the interaction between BDNF and COMT on the cognitive functions that are based in the frontostriatal system. Copyright © 2015 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Neuroscience 04/2015; 298. DOI:10.1016/j.neuroscience.2015.04.014 · 3.36 Impact Factor
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    • "Finally, the sulcal pattern of the ACC, by affecting the white matter connectivity , might constrain the development of the connectivity of the ACC to other areas of the brain, enabling this structure and other prefrontal structures to take control over these areas (Posner, 2012), which could explain why this qualitative structural characteristic of the brain partially explained the IC efficiency during childhood. Alternatively, given that previous studies have demonstrated that the sulcal pattern of the ACC have likely an impact on ACC activation (Amiez et al., 2013; Artiges et al., 2006; Crosson et al., 1999; Paus et al., 1998) and on quantitative characteristics of the structure of the ACC (e.g., cortical thickness, gray and white matter volumes, and surface area, see Paus et al., 1996a,b; Fornito et al., 2006a,b; Huster et al., 2007; Fornito et al., 2008), the constrain of the sulcal pattern of the ACC on IC efficiency reported in the present study could be mediated by the effect of the sulcal pattern of the ACC on the level of activation and/or quantitative characteristics of the structure of this region. However, we note that IC efficiency at age 5 and at age 9 were not associated with asymmetries in the thickness and surface area of the ACC at age 5. "
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    ABSTRACT: Difficulties in cognitive control including inhibitory control (IC) are related to the pathophysiology of several psychiatric conditions. In healthy subjects, IC efficiency in childhood is a strong predictor of academic and professional successes later in life. The dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) is one of the core structures responsible for IC. Although quantitative structural characteristics of the ACC contribute to IC efficiency, the qualitative structural brain characteristics contributing to IC development are less-understood. Using anatomical magnetic resonance imaging, we investigated whether the ACC sulcal pattern at age 5, a stable qualitative characteristic of the brain determined in utero, explains IC at age 9. 18 children performed Stroop tasks at age 5 and age 9. Children with asymmetrical ACC sulcal patterns (n = 7) had better IC efficiency at age 5 and age 9 than children with symmetrical ACC sulcal patterns (n = 11). The ACC sulcal patterns appear to affect specifically IC efficiency given that the ACC sulcal patterns had no effect on verbal working memory. Our study provides the first evidence that the ACC sulcal pattern - a qualitative structural characteristic of the brain not affected by maturation and learning after birth–partially explains IC efficiency during childhood.
    07/2014; 9. DOI:10.1016/j.dcn.2014.02.006
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    • "A main question therefore is, whether differences in the morphology of putative fm-theta generators are related to the ability to up-regulate brain activity utilizing neurofeedback. Related work showed that increased amplitudes of the N200 in the context of conflict monitoring tasks were found to be related to grossy-morphometric characteristics of the cingulate cortex, such as the occurrence of a second cingulate gyrus (Huster et al., 2007, 2009a,b, 2012). However, it has also been suggested that the MCC serves as a hub for information flow, using fm-theta to functionally interact with other cortical and subcortical areas (e.g., Cohen, 2011; Cavanagh et al., 2012). "
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    ABSTRACT: Humans differ in their ability to learn how to control their own brain activity by neurofeedback. However, neural mechanisms underlying these inter-individual differences, which may determine training success and associated cognitive enhancement, are not well-understood. Here, it is asked whether neurofeedback success of frontal-midline (fm) theta, an oscillation related to higher cognitive functions, could be predicted by the morphology of brain structures known to be critically involved in fm-theta generation. Nineteen young, right-handed participants underwent magnetic resonance imaging of T1-weighted brain images, and took part in an individualized, eight-session neurofeedback training in order to learn how to enhance activity in their fm-theta frequency band. Initial training success, measured at the second training session, was correlated with the final outcome measure. We found that the inferior, superior, and middle frontal cortices were not associated with training success. However, volume of the midcingulate cortex as well as volume and concentration of the underlying white matter structures act as predictor variables for the general responsiveness to training. These findings suggest a neuroanatomical foundation for the ability to learn to control one's own brain activity.
    Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 08/2013; 7:453. DOI:10.3389/fnhum.2013.00453 · 2.99 Impact Factor
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