Characterization of the temporo-parietal junction by combining data-driven parcellation, complementary connectivity analyses, and functional decoding

Neuroimage. 2013 Nov 1:81:381-392. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2013.05.046. Epub 2013 May 17.


The right temporo-parietal junction (RTPJ) is consistently implicated in two cognitive domains, attention and social cognitions. We conducted multi-modal connectivity-based parcellation to investigate potentially separate functional modules within RTPJ implementing this cognitive dualism. Both task-constrained meta-analytic coactivation mapping and task-free resting-state connectivity analysis independently identified two distinct clusters within RTPJ, subsequently characterized by network mapping and functional forward/reverse inference. Coactivation mapping and resting-state correlations revealed that the anterior cluster increased neural activity concomitantly with a midcingulate-motor-insular network, functionally associated with attention, and decreased neural activity concomitantly with a parietal network, functionally associated with social cognition and memory retrieval. The posterior cluster showed the exact opposite association pattern. Our data thus suggest that RTPJ links two antagonistic brain networks processing external versus internal information.

Keywords: Anti-correlation; Attention; Connectivity-based parcellation; Social cognition; Temporo-parietal junction.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Attention / physiology*
  • Brain Mapping*
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Neural Pathways / anatomy & histology
  • Parietal Lobe / anatomy & histology*
  • Social Behavior
  • Temporal Lobe / anatomy & histology*