Three systems of insular functional connectivity identified with cluster analysis.
ABSTRACT: Despite much research on the function of the insular cortex, few studies have investigated functional subdivisions of the insula in humans. The present study used resting-state functional connectivity magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to parcellate the human insular lobe based on clustering of functional connectivity patterns. Connectivity maps were computed for each voxel in the insula based on resting-state functional MRI (fMRI) data and segregated using cluster analysis. We identified 3 insular subregions with distinct patterns of connectivity: a posterior region, functionally connected with primary and secondary somatomotor cortices; a dorsal anterior to middle region, connected with dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, along with other regions of a previously described control network; and a ventral anterior region, primarily connected with pregenual anterior cingulate cortex. Applying these regions to a separate task data set, we found that dorsal and ventral anterior insula responded selectively to disgusting images, while posterior insula did not. These results demonstrate that clustering of connectivity patterns can be used to subdivide cerebral cortex into anatomically and functionally meaningful subregions; the insular regions identified here should be useful in future investigations on the function of the insula.
Project description:Precuneus responds to a wide range of cognitive processes. Here, we examined how the patterns of resting state connectivity may define functional subregions in the precuneus. Using a K-means algorithm to cluster the whole-brain "correlograms" of the precuneus in 225 adult individuals, we corroborated the dorsal-anterior, dorsal-posterior, and ventral subregions, each involved in spatially guided behaviors, mental imagery, and episodic memory as well as self-related processing, with the ventral precuneus being part of the default mode network, as described extensively in earlier work. Furthermore, we showed that the lateral/medial volumes of dorsal anterior and dorsal posterior precuneus are each connected with areas of motor execution/attention and motor/visual imagery, respectively. Compared to the ventral precuneus, the dorsal precuneus showed greater connectivity with occipital and posterior parietal cortices, but less connectivity with the medial superior frontal and orbitofrontal gyri, anterior cingulate cortex as well as the parahippocampus. Compared to dorsal-posterior and ventral precuneus, the dorsal-anterior precuneus showed greater connectivity with the somatomotor cortex, as well as the insula, supramarginal, Heschl's, and superior temporal gyri, but less connectivity with the angular gyrus. Compared to ventral and dorsal-anterior precuneus, dorsal-posterior precuneus showed greater connectivity with the middle frontal gyrus. Notably, the precuneus as a whole has negative connectivity with the amygdala and the lateral and inferior orbital frontal gyri. Finally, men and women differed in the connectivity of precuneus. Men and women each showed greater connectivity with the dorsal precuneus in the cuneus and medial thalamus, respectively. Women also showed greater connectivity with ventral precuneus in the hippocampus/parahippocampus, middle/anterior cingulate gyrus, and middle occipital gyrus, compared to men. Taken together, these new findings may provide a useful platform upon which to further investigate sex-specific functional neuroanatomy of the precuneus and to elucidate the pathology of many neurological illnesses.
Project description:Recent researches have demonstrated that the insula is the crucial hub of the human brain networks and most vulnerable region of Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, little is known about the changes of functional connectivity of insular subregions in the AD patients. In this study, we collected resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data including 32 AD patients and 38 healthy controls (HCs). By defining three subregions of insula, we mapped whole-brain resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC) and identified several distinct RSFC patterns of the insular subregions: For positive connectivity, three cognitive-related RSFC patterns were identified within insula that suggest anterior-to-posterior functional subdivisions: (1) an dorsal anterior zone of the insula that exhibits RSFC with executive control network (ECN); (2) a ventral anterior zone of insula, exhibits functional connectivity with the salience network (SN); (3) a posterior zone along the insula exhibits functional connectivity with the sensorimotor network (SMN). In addition, we found significant negative connectivities between the each insular subregion and several special default mode network (DMN) regions. Compared with controls, the AD patients demonstrated distinct disruption of positive RSFCs in the different network (ECN and SMN), suggesting the impairment of the functional integrity. There were no differences of the positive RSFCs in the SN between the two groups. On the other hand, several DMN regions showed increased negative RSFCs to the sub-region of insula in the AD patients, indicating compensatory plasticity. Furthermore, these abnormal insular subregions RSFCs are closely correlated with cognitive performances in the AD patients. Our findings suggested that different insular subregions presented distinct RSFC patterns with various functional networks, which are differently affected in the AD patients.
Project description:Objective: Clinically, it is very difficult to distinguish between major depressive disorder (MDD) and bipolar disorder (BD) in the period of depression. Increasing evidence shows that the insula plays an important role in depression. We aimed to compare the resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC) of insular subregions in patients with MDD and BD in depressive episodes (BDD), who had never experienced manic or hypomanic episodes when they were scanned to identify biomarkers for the identification of two diseases. Methods: We recruited 21 BDD patients, 40 MDD patients and 70 healthy controls (HC). Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) was performed. BDD patients had never had manic or hypomanic episodes when they were scanned, and the diagnoses were determined by follow-up. We divided the insula into three parts including the ventral anterior insular cortex (v-AIN), dorsal anterior insular cortex (d-AIN), and posterior insula (PI). The insular-based rsFC was compared among the three groups, and an analysis of the correlation between the rsFC value and Hamilton depression and anxiety scales was carried out. Results: BDD and MDD patients demonstrated decreased rsFC from the v-AIN to the left superior/middle frontal gyrus compared with the HC group. Versus MDD and HC groups, BDD patients exhibited decreased rsFC from the v-AIN to the area in the left orbital frontal gyrus and left superior temporal gyrus (included temporal pole), from the PI to the right lateral postcentral gyrus and from all three insular subregions to the somatosensory and motor cortex. Meanwhile, a correlation between the rsFC value of the PI-right lateral postcentral gyrus and anxiety score was observed in patients. Conclusion: Our findings show BDD and MDD patients have similar decreases in insular connectivity in the dorsal lateral frontal regions, and BDD patients have specific decreased insular connectivity, especially in the somatosensory and motor cortex, which may be used as imaging evidence for clinical identification.
Project description:The insular cortex appears to have a crucial role in emotional processing and cognitive control in bipolar disorder (BD). However, most previous studies focused on the entire insular region of BD, neglecting the topological profile of its subregions. Our study aimed to investigate its subregion topological characteristics using the resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC) in patients with BD on depression episode. The magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data of 28 depressed BD patients and 28 age- and gender-matched healthy controls (HCs) were acquired. We observed that compared to HCs, depressed patients with BD exhibited significantly decreased rsFC between the right ventral anterior insula (vAI) and the left middle temporal gyrus/the right angular, the right dorsal anterior insula (dAI) and the left precuneus, as well as the right posterior insula and the right lingual gyrus. Furthermore, hyperconnectivity was observed between the left dAI and the left medial frontal gyrus, as well as right dAI and left superior temporal gyrus in BD depression. However, no significant group effect was observed between aberrant FC patterns and clinical variables. These findings revealed the functional connectivity patterns of insular subregions for the depressed BD patients, suggesting the potential neural substrate of insular subregions involved in depressive episode of BD. Hence, these results may provide a neural substrate for the potential treatment target of BD on depression episode.
Project description:Human cingulate cortex (CC) has been implicated in many functions, which is highly suggestive of the existence of functional subregions.In this study, we used resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to parcellate the human cingulate cortex (CC) based on resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC) patterns and anatomical connectivity (AC) patterns, to analyze the rsFC patterns and the AC patterns of different subregions, and to recognize whether the parcellation results obtained by the two different methods were consistent.The CC was divided into six functional subregions, including the anterior cingulate cortex, dorsal anterior midcingulate cortex, ventral anterior midcingulate cortex, posterior midcingulate cortex, dorsal posterior cingulate cortex, and ventral posterior cingulate cortex. The CC was also divided into ten anatomical subregions, termed Subregion 1 (S1) to Subregion 10 (S10). Each subregion showed specific connectivity patterns, although the functional subregions and the anatomical subregions were internally consistent.Using different model MRI images, we established a parcellation scheme, which is internally consistent for the human CC, which may provide an in vivo guide for subregion-level studies and improve our understanding of this brain area at subregional levels.
Project description:Functional neuroimaging studies suggest that the anterior, mid, and posterior division of the insula subserve different functions in the perception of pain. The anterior insula (AI) has predominantly been associated with cognitive-affective aspects of pain, while the mid and posterior divisions have been implicated in sensory-discriminative processing. We examined whether this functional segregation is paralleled by differences in (1) structural and (2) resting state connectivity and (3) in correlations with pain-relevant psychological traits. Analyses were restricted to the 3 insular subdivisions and other pain-related brain regions. Both type of analyses revealed largely overlapping results. The AI division was predominantly connected to the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (structural and resting state connectivity) and orbitofrontal cortex (structural connectivity). In contrast, the posterior insula showed strong connections to the primary somatosensory cortex (SI; structural connectivity) and secondary somatosensory cortex (SII; structural and resting state connectivity). The mid insula displayed a hybrid connectivity pattern with strong connections with the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, SII (structural and resting state connectivity) and SI (structural connectivity). Moreover, resting state connectivity revealed strong connectivity of all 3 subdivisions with the thalamus. On the behavioural level, AI structural connectivity was related to the individual degree of pain vigilance and awareness that showed a positive correlation with AI-amygdala connectivity and a negative correlation with AI-rostral anterior cingulate cortex connectivity. In sum, our findings show a differential structural and resting state connectivity for the anterior, mid, and posterior insula with other pain-relevant brain regions, which might at least partly explain their different functional profiles in pain processing.
Project description:The inferior parietal lobule (IPL) of the human brain is a heterogeneous region involved in visuospatial attention, memory, and mathematical cognition. Detailed description of connectivity profiles of subdivisions within the IPL is critical for accurate interpretation of functional neuroimaging studies involving this region. We separately examined functional and structural connectivity of the angular gyrus (AG) and the intraparietal sulcus (IPS) using probabilistic cytoarchitectonic maps. Regions-of-interest (ROIs) included anterior and posterior AG subregions (PGa, PGp) and 3 IPS subregions (hIP2, hIP1, and hIP3). Resting-state functional connectivity analyses showed that PGa was more strongly linked to basal ganglia, ventral premotor areas, and ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, while PGp was more strongly connected with ventromedial prefrontal cortex, posterior cingulate, and hippocampus-regions comprising the default mode network. The anterior-most IPS ROIs, hIP2 and hIP1, were linked with ventral premotor and middle frontal gyrus, while the posterior-most IPS ROI, hIP3, showed connectivity with extrastriate visual areas. In addition, hIP1 was connected with the insula. Tractography using diffusion tensor imaging revealed structural connectivity between most of these functionally connected regions. Our findings provide evidence for functional heterogeneity of cytoarchitectonically defined subdivisions within IPL and offer a novel framework for synthesis and interpretation of the task-related activations and deactivations involving the IPL during cognition.
Project description:The striatum codes motivated behavior. Delineating age-related differences within striatal circuitry can provide insights into neural mechanisms underlying ontogenic behavioral changes and vulnerabilities to mental disorders. To this end, a dual ventral/dorsal model of striatal function was examined using resting state intrinsic functional connectivity (iFC) imaging in 106 healthy individuals, ages 9-44. Broadly, the dorsal striatum (DS) is connected to prefrontal and parietal cortices and contributes to cognitive processes; the ventral striatum (VS) is connected to medial orbitofrontal and anterior cingulate cortices, and contributes to affective valuation and motivation. Findings revealed patterns of age-related changes that differed between VS and DS iFCs. We found an age-related increase in DS iFC with posterior cingulate cortex (pCC) that stabilized after the mid-twenties, but a decrease in VS iFC with anterior insula (aIns) and dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) that persisted into mid-adulthood. These distinct developmental trajectories of VS vs. DS iFC might underlie adolescents' unique behavioral patterns and vulnerabilities to psychopathology, and also speaks to changes in motivational networks that extend well past 25 years old.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Pathophysiology models of major depression (MD) center on the dysfunction of various cortical areas within the orbital and medial prefrontal cortex. While independent structural and functional abnormalities in these areas are consistent findings in MD, the complex interactions among them and the rest of the cortex remain largely unexplored. METHODS:We used resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging connectivity to systematically map alterations in the communication between orbital and medial prefrontal cortex fields and the rest of the brain in MD. Functional connectivity (FC) maps from participants with current MD (n = 35), unaffected first-degree relatives (n = 36), and healthy control subjects (n = 38) were subjected to conjunction analyses to distinguish FC markers of MD vulnerability and FC markers of MD disease. RESULTS:FC abnormalities in MD vulnerability were found for dorsal medial wall regions and the anterior insula and concerned altered communication of these areas with the inferior parietal cortex and dorsal posterior cingulate, occipital areas and the brainstem. FC aberrations in current MD included the anterior insula, rostral and dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, and lateral orbitofrontal areas and concerned altered communication with the dorsal striatum, the cerebellum, the precuneus, the anterior prefrontal cortex, somatomotor cortex, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, and visual areas in the occipital and inferior temporal lobes. CONCLUSIONS:Functionally delineated parcellation maps can be used to identify putative connectivity markers in extended cortical regions such as the orbital and medial prefrontal cortex. The anterior insula and the rostral anterior cingulate cortex play a central role in the pathophysiology of MD, being consistently implicated both in the MD vulnerability and MD disease states.
Project description:The human insula has been parcellated on the basis of resting state functional connectivity and diffusion tensor imaging. Little is known about the organization of the insula when involved in active tasks. We explored this issue using a novel meta-analytic clustering approach. We queried the BrainMap database asking for papers involving normal subjects that recorded activations in the insular cortex, retrieving 1305 papers, involving 22,872 subjects and a total of 2957 foci. Data were analyzed with several different methodologies, some of which expressly designed for this work. We used meta-analytic connectivity modeling and meta-analytic clustering of data obtained from the BrainMap database. We performed cluster analysis to subdivide the insula in areas with homogeneous connectivity, and density analysis of the activated foci using Voronoi tessellation. Our results confirm and extend previous findings obtained investigating the resting state connectivity of the anterior-posterior and left-right insulae. They indicate, for the first time, that some blocks of the anterior insula play the role of hubs between the anterior and the posterior insulae, as confirmed by their activation in several different paradigms. This finding supports the view that the network to which the anterior insula belongs is related to saliency detection. The insulae of both sides can be parcellated in two clusters, the anterior and the posterior: the anterior is characterized by an attentional pattern of connectivity with frontal, cingulate, parietal, cerebellar and anterior insular highly connected areas, whereas the posterior is characterized by a more local connectivity pattern with connections to sensorimotor, temporal and posterior cingulate areas. This antero-posterior subdivision, better characterized on the right side, results sharper with the connectivity based clusterization than with the behavioral based clusterization. The circuits belonging to the anterior insula are very homogeneous and their blocks in multidimensional scaling of MACM-based profiles are in central position, whereas those belonging to the posterior insula, especially on the left, are located at the periphery and sparse, thus suggesting that the posterior circuits bear a more heterogeneous connectivity. The anterior cluster is mostly activated by cognition, whereas the posterior is mostly activated by interoception, perception and emotion.