Evidence for a frontoparietal control system revealed by intrinsic functional connectivity

J Neurophysiol. 2008 Dec;100(6):3328-42. doi: 10.1152/jn.90355.2008. Epub 2008 Sep 17.


Two functionally distinct, and potentially competing, brain networks have been recently identified that can be broadly distinguished by their contrasting roles in attention to the external world versus internally directed mentation involving long-term memory. At the core of these two networks are the dorsal attention system and the hippocampal-cortical memory system, a component of the brain's default network. Here spontaneous blood-oxygenation-level-dependent (BOLD) signal correlations were used in three separate functional magnetic resonance imaging data sets (n = 105) to define a third system, the frontoparietal control system, which is spatially interposed between these two previously defined systems. The frontoparietal control system includes many regions identified as supporting cognitive control and decision-making processes including lateral prefrontal cortex, anterior cingulate cortex, and inferior parietal lobule. Detailed analysis of frontal and parietal cortex, including use of high-resolution data, revealed clear evidence for contiguous but distinct regions: in general, the regions associated with the frontoparietal control system are situated between components of the dorsal attention and hippocampal-cortical memory systems. The frontoparietal control system is therefore anatomically positioned to integrate information from these two opposing brain systems.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain Mapping*
  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Decision Making / physiology*
  • Female
  • Frontal Lobe / blood supply
  • Frontal Lobe / physiology*
  • Functional Laterality
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Male
  • Oxygen / blood
  • Temporal Lobe / blood supply
  • Temporal Lobe / physiology*
  • Young Adult


  • Oxygen