Functional segregation of the human cingulate cortex is confirmed by functional connectivity based neuroanatomical parcellation

Neuroimage. 2011 Feb 14;54(4):2571-81. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2010.11.018. Epub 2010 Nov 10.


The four-region model with 7 specified subregions represents a theoretical construct of functionally segregated divisions of the cingulate cortex based on integrated neurobiological assessments. Under this framework, we aimed to investigate the functional specialization of the human cingulate cortex by analyzing the resting-state functional connectivity (FC) of each subregion from a network perspective. In 20 healthy subjects we systematically investigated the FC patterns of the bilateral subgenual (sACC) and pregenual (pACC) anterior cingulate cortices, anterior (aMCC) and posterior (pMCC) midcingulate cortices, dorsal (dPCC) and ventral (vPCC) posterior cingulate cortices and retrosplenial cortices (RSC). We found that each cingulate subregion was specifically integrated in the predescribed functional networks and showed anti-correlated resting-state fluctuations. The sACC and pACC were involved in an affective network and anti-correlated with the sensorimotor and cognitive networks, while the pACC also correlated with the default-mode network and anti-correlated with the visual network. In the midcingulate cortex, however, the aMCC was correlated with the cognitive and sensorimotor networks and anti-correlated with the visual, affective and default-mode networks, whereas the pMCC only correlated with the sensorimotor network and anti-correlated with the cognitive and visual networks. The dPCC and vPCC involved in the default-mode network and anti-correlated with the sensorimotor, cognitive and visual networks, in contrast, the RSC was mainly correlated with the PCC and thalamus. Based on a strong hypothesis driven approach of anatomical partitions of the cingulate cortex, we could confirm their segregation in terms of functional neuroanatomy, as suggested earlier by task studies or exploratory multi-seed investigations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Brain Mapping*
  • Female
  • Gyrus Cinguli / anatomy & histology*
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neural Pathways / anatomy & histology*