Functional neuroimaging has evolved into an indispensable tool for noninvasively investigating brain function. A recent development of such methodology is the creation of connectivity models for brain regions and related networks, efforts that have been inhibited by notable limitations. We present a new method for ascertaining functional connectivity of specific brain structures using metaanalytic connectivity modeling (MACM), along with validation of our method using a nonhuman primate database. Drawing from decades of neuroimaging research and spanning multiple behavioral domains, the method overcomes many weaknesses of conventional connectivity analyses and provides a simple, automated alternative to developing accurate and robust models of anatomically-defined human functional connectivity. Applying MACM to the amygdala, a small structure of the brain with a complex network of connections, we found high coherence with anatomical studies in nonhuman primates as well as human-based theoretical models of emotive-cognitive integration, providing evidence for this novel method's utility.
(c) 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.