Functional connectivity mapping of regions associated with self- and other-processing

Hum Brain Mapp. 2015 Apr;36(4):1304-24. doi: 10.1002/hbm.22703. Epub 2014 Dec 6.


Neuroscience literature increasingly suggests a conceptual self composed of interacting neural regions, rather than independent local activations, yet such claims have yet to be investigated. We, thus, combined task-dependent meta-analytic connectivity modeling (MACM) with task-independent resting-state (RS) connectivity analysis to delineate the neural network of the self, across both states. Given psychological evidence implicating the self's interdependence on social information, we also delineated the neural network underlying conceptual other-processing. To elucidate the relation between the self-/other-networks and their function, we mined the MACM metadata to generate a cognitive-behavioral profile for an empirically identified region specific to conceptual self, the pregenual anterior cingulate (pACC), and conceptual other, posterior cingulate/precuneus (PCC/PC). Mining of 7,200 published, task-dependent, neuroimaging studies, using healthy human subjects, yielded 193 studies activating the self-related seed and were conjoined with RS connectivity analysis to delineate a differentiated self-network composed of the pACC (seed) and anterior insula, relative to other functional connectivity. Additionally, 106 studies activating the other-related seed were conjoined with RS connectivity analysis to delineate a differentiated other-network of PCC/PC (seed) and angular gyrus/temporoparietal junction, relative to self-functional connectivity. The self-network seed related to emotional conflict resolution and motivational processing, whereas the other-network seed related to socially oriented processing and contextual information integration. Notably, our findings revealed shared RS connectivity between ensuing self-/other-networks within the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and medial orbitofrontal cortex, suggesting self-updating via integration of self-relevant social information. We, therefore, present initial neurobiological evidence corroborating the increasing claims of an intricate self-network, the architecture of which may promote social value processing.

Keywords: connectivity; posterior cingulate; precuneus; rostral anterior cingulate; self-concept; social cognition; social value.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Brain Mapping / methods
  • Data Mining
  • Databases, Factual
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Mental Processes / physiology*
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Positron-Emission Tomography
  • Rest
  • Self Concept*