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Brain Res Cogn Brain Res. 2005 Apr;23(1):61-70.

Functional connectivity with anterior cingulate and orbitofrontal cortices during decision-making.

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Department of Epileptology, University of Bonn, Germany.


Recent neuroscience research is beginning to discover the brain regions involved in decision-making under uncertainty, but little is known about whether or how these regions functionally interact with each other. Here, we used event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging to examine both changes in overall activity and changes in functional connectivity during risk-taking. Results showed that choosing high-risk over low-risk decisions was associated with increased activity in both anterior cingulate and orbitofrontal cortices. Connectivity analyses revealed that largely distinct, but somewhat overlapping, cortical and subcortical regions exhibited significant functional connectivity with anterior cingulate and orbitofrontal cortices. Additionally, connectivity with the anterior cingulate in some regions, including the orbitofrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens, was modulated by the decision participants chose. These findings (1) elucidate large networks of brain regions that are functionally connected with both anterior cingulate and orbitofrontal cortices during decision-making and (2) demonstrate that the roles of orbitofrontal and anterior cingulate cortices can be functionally differentiated by examining patterns of connectivity.

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