Subspecialization in the human posterior medial cortex
Abstract The posterior medial cortex (PMC) is particularly poorly understood. Its neural activity changes have been related to highly disparate mental processes. We therefore investigated PMC properties with a data-driven exploratory approach. First, we subdivided the PMC by whole-brain coactivation profiles. Second, functional connectivity of the ensuing PMC regions was compared by task-constrained meta-analytic coactivation mapping (MACM) and task-unconstrained resting-state correlations (RSFC). Third, PMC regions were functionally described by forward/reverse functional inference. A precuneal cluster was mostly connected to the intraparietal sulcus, frontal eye fields, and right temporo-parietal junction; associated with attention and motor tasks. A ventral posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) cluster was mostly connected to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and middle left inferior parietal cortex (IPC); associated with facial appraisal and language tasks. A dorsal PCC cluster was mostly connected to the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, anterior/posterior IPC, posterior midcingulate cortex, and left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex; associated with delay discounting. A cluster in the retrosplenial cortex was mostly connected to the anterior thalamus and hippocampus. Furthermore, all PMC clusters were congruently coupled with the default mode network according to task-unconstrained but not task-constrained connectivity. We thus identified distinct regions in the PMC and characterized their neural networks and functional implications.