Hemispheric asymmetry in cognitive division of anterior cingulate cortex: a resting-state functional connectivity study

Hao Yan, Xi-Nian Zuo, Deyi Wang, Jue Wang, Chaozhe Zhu, Michael P Milham, Dai Zhang, Yufeng Zang
NeuroImage 2009 October 1, 47 (4): 1579-89
The cognitive division of anterior cingulate cortex (ACC-cd) plays an important role in cognitive control via a distributed attention network. The structural hemispheric asymmetries of ACC have been revealed by several neuroimaging studies. However potential functional hemispheric asymmetries of ACC remain less clear. Investigating the functional hemispheric asymmetries of ACC helps for a better understanding of ACC function. The aim of this study was to use resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine hemispheric differences in the functional networks associated with ACC-cd in the two hemispheres. ROI-based functional connectivity analysis was performed on a group of 49 right-handed healthy volunteers. The left and right ACC-cd showed significant differences in their patterns of connectivity with a variety of brain regions, including the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, inferior parietal lobule, superior parietal lobule and dorsal posterior cingulate cortex in their ipsilateral cerebral cortex, as well as cerebellar tonsil and inferior semilunar lobule in their contralateral cerebellar hemisphere. Specifically, for these areas, we found significantly greater connectivity strength with ACC-cd in the right hemisphere than the left, regardless of whether the connection was positive or negative. The current results highlight the presence of clear asymmetries in functional networks associated with ACC-cd. Future functional imaging studies are needed to give greater attention to the lateralized ACC functional networks which are observed.

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