Across-study and within-subject functional connectivity of a right temporo-parietal junction subregion involved in stimulus-context integration

Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, Medical School, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany.
NeuroImage (Impact Factor: 6.36). 02/2012; 60(4):2389-98. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2012.02.037
Source: PubMed


Bidirectional integration between sensory stimuli and contextual framing is fundamental to action control. Stimuli may entail context-dependent actions, while temporal or spatial characteristics of a stimulus train may establish a contextual framework for upcoming stimuli. Here we aimed at identifying core areas for stimulus-context integration and delineated their functional connectivity (FC) using meta-analytic connectivity modeling (MACM) and analysis of resting-state networks. In a multi-study conjunction, consistently increased activity under higher demands on stimulus-context integration was predominantly found in the right temporo-parietal junction (TPJ), which represented the largest cluster of overlap and was thus used as the seed for the FC analyses. The conjunction between task-dependent (MACM) and task-free (resting state) FC of the right TPJ revealed a shared network comprising bilaterally inferior parietal and frontal cortices, anterior insula, premotor cortex, putamen and cerebellum, i.e., a 'ventral' action/attention network. Stronger task-dependent (vs. task-free) connectivity was observed with the pre-SMA, dorsal premotor cortex, intraparietal sulcus, basal ganglia and primary sensori motor cortex, while stronger resting-state (vs. task-dependent) connectivity was found with the dorsolateral prefrontal and medial parietal cortex. Our data provide strong evidence that the right TPJ may represent a key region for the integration of sensory stimuli and contextual frames in action control. Task-dependent associations with regions related to stimulus processing and motor responses indicate that the right TPJ may integrate 'collaterals' of sensory processing and apply (ensuing) contextual frames, most likely via modulation of preparatory loops. Given the pattern of resting-state connectivity, internal states and goal representations may provide the substrates for the contextual integration within the TPJ in the absence of a specific task.

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    • "However, sample bias effects appear unlikely given the high level of consistency between the MACM and RSFC maps (the latter of which by definition is not affected by task demands). Furthermore, it is notable that this study and others have identified similar results using RSFC and MACM (Bzdok et al., 2013; Clos et al., 2014; Hoffstaedter et al., 2013a; Jakobs et al., 2012; Müller et al., 2013; Rottschy et al., 2013). The consistency between results from RSFC and MACM illustrate that harnessing the large and varied sample from the BrainMap database can provide a powerful approach to assessing functional connectivity. "
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    ABSTRACT: The dorsal premotor cortex (dPMC) is a key region for motor learning and sensorimotor integration, yet we have limited understanding of its functional interactions with other regions. Previous work has started to examine functional connectivity in several brain areas using resting state functional connectivity (RSFC) and meta-analytical connectivity modelling (MACM). More recently, structural covariance (SC) has also been proposed as a technique that may also allow delineation of functional connectivity. Here we applied these three approaches to provide a comprehensive characterization of functional connectivity with a seed in the left dPMC that a previous meta-analysis of functional neuroimaging studies has identified as playing a key role in motor learning. Using data from two sources (the Rockland sample, containing resting state data and anatomical scans from 132 participants, and the BrainMap database, which contains peak activation foci from over 10,000 experiments), we conducted independent whole-brain functional connectivity mapping analyses of a dPMC seed. RSFC and MACM revealed similar connectivity maps spanning prefrontal, premotor and parietal regions, while the SC map identified more widespread frontal regions. Analyses indicated a relatively consistent pattern of functional connectivity between RSFC and MACM that was distinct from that identified by SC. Notably, results indicate the seed is functionally connected to areas involved in visuomotor control and executive functions, suggesting the dPMC acts as an interface between motor control and cognition. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.
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    • "For the resting-state data, variance that could be explained by known confounds was removed from the smoothed image time series. Confound regressors included the tissue-class-specific global signal intensities and their squared values, the 6 head motion parameters from realignment, their squared values as well as their firstorder derivatives (Jakobs et al. 2012; Reetz et al. 2012). Data were band-pass filtered between 0.01 and 0.08 Hz. "

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    • "Importantly, as experiments were defined by activation in the region of interest, the highest convergence will always be found close to the seed. Significant convergence outside the seed, in turn, then indicates functional connectivity over the included numerous experimental tasks (Eickhoff and Grefkes 2011; Jakobs et al. 2012). The key idea behind ALE is to treat the reported foci as centers for 3D Gaussian probability distributions as opposed to single points, capturing the spatial uncertainty associated with each focus. "
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