Differential functional patterns of the human posterior cingulate cortex during activation and deactivation: a meta-analytic connectivity model

Exp Brain Res. 2019 Sep;237(9):2367-2385. doi: 10.1007/s00221-019-05595-y. Epub 2019 Jul 10.


The posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) has been implicated in a host of cognitive and behavioral processes in addition to serving as a central hub in the default mode network (DMN). Moreover, the PCC has been shown to be involved in a range of psychiatric and neurological disorders. However, very little is known about the specific activated/deactivated functional profiles of the PCC. Here, we employed a dual analytic approach using robust quantitative meta-analytical connectivity modeling (MACM) and ultra-high field, high resolution resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) to identify state-specific functional activity patterns of the human PCC. The MACM results provided evidence for regions of convergence for PCC co-activation and co-deactivation (i.e., left medial frontal gyrus, left amygdala, and left anterior cingulate) as well as regions of divergence specific to either PCC activation (i.e., bilateral inferior frontal gyri) or PCC deactivation (i.e., left parahippocampal gyrus). In addition, exploratory MACMs on dorsal and ventral subregions of the PCC revealed differential functional activity patterns such as greater co-activation of the right PCC and left inferior parietal lobule with the dorsal PCC and greater co-activation of right precuneus with the ventral PCC. Resting state connectivity analyses showed widespread connectivity similar to that of the PCC co-activation-based MACM, but also demonstrated additional regions of activity, including bilateral superior parietal regions and right superior temporal regions. These analyses highlight the diverse neurofunctional repertoire of the human PCC, provide additional insight into its dynamic functional activity patterns as it switches between activated and deactivated states, and elucidates the cognitive processes that may be implicated in clinical populations.

Keywords: Activation analysis; Attention; Brain; Magnetic resonance imaging; Neuroimaging.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attention / physiology*
  • Cerebral Cortex / diagnostic imaging
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology*
  • Connectome* / methods
  • Gyrus Cinguli / diagnostic imaging
  • Gyrus Cinguli / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Meta-Analysis as Topic
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Nerve Net / diagnostic imaging
  • Nerve Net / physiology*