Subspecialization in the human posterior medial cortex.

Bzdok D, Heeger A, Langner R, Laird AR, Fox PT, Palomero-Gallagher N, Vogt BA, Zilles K, Eickhoff SB, Neuroimage 106 :55-71 (2015).


The posterior medial cortex (PMC) is particularly poorly understood. Its neural activity changes have been related to highly disparate mental processes. We therefore investigated PMC properties with a data-driven exploratory approach. First, we subdivided the PMC by whole-brain coactivation profiles. Second, functional connectivity of the ensuing PMC regions was compared by task-constrained meta-analytic coactivation mapping (MACM) and task-unconstrained resting-state correlations (RSFC). Third, PMC regions were functionally described by forward/reverse functional inference. A precuneal cluster was mostly connected to the intraparietal sulcus, frontal eye fields, and right temporo-parietal junction; associated with attention and motor tasks. A ventral posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) cluster was mostly connected to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and middle left inferior parietal cortex (IPC); associated with facial appraisal and language tasks. A dorsal PCC cluster was mostly connected to the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, anterior/posterior IPC, posterior midcingulate cortex, and left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex; associated with delay discounting. A cluster in the retrosplenial cortex was mostly connected to the anterior thalamus and hippocampus. Furthermore, all PMC clusters were congruently coupled with the default mode network according to task-unconstrained but not task-constrained connectivity. We thus identified distinct regions in the PMC and characterized their neural networks and functional implications.