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ABSTRACT: The default mode network is a functionally connected network of brain regions that show highly synchronized intrinsic neuronal activation during rest. However, less is known about the structural connections of this network, which could play an important role in the observed functional connectivity patterns. In this study, we examined the microstructural organization of the cingulum tract in relation to the level of resting-state default mode functional synchronization. Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging and diffusion tensor imaging data of 45 healthy subjects were acquired on a 3 tesla scanner. Both structural and functional connectivity of the default mode network were examined. In all subjects, the cingulum tract was identified from the total collection of reconstructed tracts to interconnect the precuneus/posterior cingulate cortex and medial frontal cortex, key regions of the default mode network. A significant positive correlation was found between the average fractional anisotropy value of the cingulum tract and the level of functional connectivity between the precuneus/posterior cingulate cortex and medial frontal cortex. Our results suggest a direct relationship between the structural and functional connectivity measures of the default mode network and contribute to the understanding of default mode network connectivity.
Journal of Neuroscience 11/2008; 28(43):10844-51. · 6.75 Impact Factor