Functional connectivity of the human rostral and caudal cingulate motor areas in the brain resting state at 3T

Christophe Habas
Neuroradiology 2010, 52 (1): 47-59

INTRODUCTION: Three cingulate motor areas have been described in monkeys, the rostral, dorsal, and ventral cingulate motor areas, and would control limbic-related motor activity. However, little anatomical data are available in human about the functional networks these cingulate areas underlie. Therefore, networks anchored in the rostral and caudal cingulate motor areas (rCMA and cCMA, respectively) were studied in human using functional connectivity during the brain resting state. Since the rCMA and cCMA are located just under the pre-supplementary and supplementary motor areas (pre-SMA and SMA), the pre-SMA- and SMA-centered networks were also studied to ensure that these four circuits were correctly dissociated.

METHODS: Data from 14 right-handed healthy volunteers were acquired at rest and analyzed by region of interest (ROI)-based functional connectivity. The blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) signal fluctuations of separate ROIs located in rCMA, cCMA, pre-SMA, and SMA were successively used to identify significant temporal correlations with BOLD signal fluctuations of other brain regions.

RESULTS: Low-frequency BOLD signal of the CMA was correlated with signal fluctuations in the prefrontal, cingulate, insular, premotor, motor, medial and inferior parietal cortices, putamen and thalamus, and anticorrelated with the default-mode network. rCMA was more in relation with prefrontal, orbitofrontal, and language-associated cortices than cCMA more related to sensory cortex. These cingulate networks were very similar to the pre-SMA- and SMA-centered networks, although pre-SMA and SMA showed stronger correlation with the prefrontal and inferior parietal cortices and with the cerebellum and the superior parietal cortex, respectively.

CONCLUSION: The human cingulate motor areas constitute an interface between sensorimotor, limbic and executive systems, sharing common cortical, striatal, and thalamic relays with the overlying premotor medial areas.

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