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

ABSTRACT 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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    • "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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    • "The finer distinction between " present " and " prominent " PCS (Yucel et al., 2001; Paus et al., 1996), leading to three ACC sulcal pattern types, was not used here because this distinction is based on the PCS length of adult brains—that is, greater than 20 mm according to Pausʼs classification (Paus et al., 1996) or greater than 40 mm according to Yucelʼs classification (Yucel et al., 2001) for a prominent PCS (Leonard et al., 2009). Furthermore, the classification of ACC morphology into five categories by grouping the individual measurements of PCS in 15-mm steps was also proposed (Huster et al., 2007 "
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    ABSTRACT: Cognitive success at school and later in life is supported by executive functions including cognitive control (CC). The pFC plays a major role in CC, particularly the dorsal part of ACC or midcingulate cortex. Genes, environment (including school curricula), and neuroplasticity affect CC. However, no study to date has investigated whether ACC sulcal pattern, a stable brain feature primarily determined in utero, influences CC efficiency in the early stages of cognitive and neural development. Using anatomical MRI and three-dimensional reconstruction of cortical folds, we investigated the effect that ACC sulcal pattern may have on the Stroop score, a classical behavioral index of CC efficiency, in 5-year-old preschoolers. We found higher CC efficiency, that is, lower Stroop interference scores for both RTs and error rates, in children with asymmetrical ACC sulcal pattern (i.e., different pattern in each hemisphere) compared with children with symmetrical pattern (i.e., same pattern in both hemispheres). Critically, ACC sulcal pattern had no effect on performance in the forward and backward digit span tasks suggesting that ACC sulcal pattern contributes to the executive ability to resolve conflicts but not to the ability to maintain and manipulate information in working memory. This finding provides the first evidence that preschoolers' CC efficiency is likely associated with ACC sulcal pattern, thereby suggesting that the brain shape could result in early constraints on human executive ability.
    Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 08/2013; DOI:10.1162/jocn_a_00459 · 4.69 Impact Factor
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    • "The REST group included subjects that did not show a PCS in either hemisphere (category 0) or who exhibited a prominent PCS in the right (category 4) but not in the left hemisphere (category 0). By arranging these groups, subjects with an extreme form of the most common leftward asymmetry of anterior MCC fissurization were compared to the less common cases of anterior midcingulate folding patterns (Huster et al. 2007; Yücel et al. 2001). "
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    ABSTRACT: The midcingulate cortex (MCC; often somewhat imprecisely referred to as dorsal or cognitive part of the anterior cingulate cortex or dACC) is a core region contributing to cognitive control. Neuroanatomical deviations in the midcingulate region have been observed in a variety of mental disorders. Even in healthy subjects a high degree of morphological variability is seen, for example concerning the degree of anterior midcingulate fissurization. To investigate the relationship between anterior midcingulate morphology and function, individuals with a leftward midcingulate folding asymmetry (LEFT) were compared to individuals showing a lower degree of fissurization or a rightward asymmetric folding (REST). Data from two experiments, a masked Stroop paradigm and a combined go/no-go and stop-signal task, are reported. With the masked Stroop task, LEFT subjects revealed a better processing of incongruent Stroop stimuli when compared to REST subjects. This was reflected in both augmented N400 responses as well as significantly higher accuracy scores. In addition, similar effects were found with event-related potentials from the combined go/no-go and stop-signal task. Here, the N200 but not the P300, which have been associated with conflict-related and evaluative processing stages, respectively, was found to be significantly increased with LEFT subjects. The results of this study foster an association of midcingulate fissurization with differences in behavior and neurophysiological functioning related to cognitive control.
    Brain Structure and Function 11/2012; 219(1). DOI:10.1007/s00429-012-0483-5 · 4.57 Impact Factor
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