Human Pregenual Anterior Cingulate Cortex: Structural, Functional, and Connectional Heterogeneity

Cereb Cortex. 2019 Jun 1;29(6):2552-2574. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhy124.


The human pregenual anterior cingulate cortex (pACC) encompasses 7 distinct cyto- and receptorarchitectonic areas. We lack a detailed understanding of the functions in which they are involved, and stereotaxic maps are not available. We present an integrated structural/functional map of pACC based on probabilistic cytoarchitectonic mapping and meta-analytic connectivity modeling and quantitative functional decoding. Due to the restricted spatial resolution of functional imaging data relative to the microstructural parcellation, areas p24a of the callosal sulcus and p24b on the surface of the cingulate gyrus were merged into a "gyral component" (p24ab) of area p24, and areas pv24c, pd24cv, and pd24cd, located within the cingulate sulcus were merged into a "sulcal component" (p24c) for meta-analytic analysis. Area p24ab was specifically associated with interoception, p24c with the inhibition of action, and p32, which was also activated by emotion induction tasks pertaining negatively valenced stimuli, with the ability to experience empathy. Thus, area p32 could be classified as cingulate association cortex playing a crucial role in the cognitive regulation of emotion. By this spectrum of functions, pACC is a structurally and functionally heterogeneous region, clearly differing from other parts of the anterior and middle cingulate cortex.

Keywords: anterior cingulate cortex; cytoarchitecture; functional decoding; functional meta-analysis; human brain; probability maps.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Brain Mapping / methods*
  • Female
  • Gyrus Cinguli / anatomy & histology*
  • Gyrus Cinguli / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional / methods
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neural Pathways / anatomy & histology*
  • Neural Pathways / physiology*