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Meta-Analysis
. 2012 May 1;60(4):2389-98.
doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2012.02.037. Epub 2012 Feb 23.

Across-study and Within-Subject Functional Connectivity of a Right Temporo-Parietal Junction Subregion Involved in Stimulus-Context Integration

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Free PMC article
Meta-Analysis

Across-study and Within-Subject Functional Connectivity of a Right Temporo-Parietal Junction Subregion Involved in Stimulus-Context Integration

Oliver Jakobs et al. Neuroimage. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

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.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
In three recently published neuroimaging studies (A: Eickhoff et al., 2011, B: Jakobs et al., 2009, C: Cieslik et al., 2010) we applied variations of a manual two-choice reaction time task to investigate neural correlates of increasing demands on sensorimotor control. In each of these studies, we observed activation of a similar bilateral, though right-hemispheric dominant fronto-parietal network. Significant activations are projected onto rendered surfaces of the MNI single-subject template brain. The subsequent image-based meta-analysis revealed a single focus of convergent activation in the right temporo-parietal junction (D) which was thus used as seed region for the analysis of functional connectivity.
Figure 2
Figure 2
The conjunction analysis (C) across task-dependent connectivity (MACM, B1) and that obtained for the task-free state (B2) revealed a shared network comprising bilaterally inferior parietal cortex, area 44, insula and supplementary motor area (SMA), right premotor and middle cingulate cortex, middle temporal gyrus, putamen and OP4 as well as the left cerebellum. In both task-driven and task-free states the right TPJ thus entertains close functional connectivity with a bilateral though right-dominant ‘ventral’ action-control/ attention network (Corbetta & Shulman, 2002). Functional connectivity specific for the task-dependent mental state (MACM, B1) additionally involved bilateral (pre-)SMA, dorsal premotor cortex (dMPC), intraparietal sulcus (IPS), basal ganglia and left sensorimotor cortex (M1/S1). In the resting-state analysis (Fig. 2B2), reflecting TPJ connectivity in the absence of a structured task, we observed additional bilateral activation of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), insula and middle cingulate cortex, right superior parietal and premotor cortex as well as left SII.

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