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Cereb Cortex. 2018 May 30. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhy124. [Epub ahead of print]

Human Pregenual Anterior Cingulate Cortex: Structural, Functional, and Connectional Heterogeneity.

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Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine (INM-1), Research Centre Jülich, 52425 Jülich, Germany.
Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, Medical Faculty, RWTH Aachen, 52074 Aachen, Germany.
Institute of Systems Neuroscience, Medical Faculty, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf 40225, Düsseldorf, Germany.
Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine (INM-7), Research Centre Jülich, 52425 Jülich, Germany.
C. & O. Vogt Institute for Brain Research, Heinrich-Heine-University, 40225 Düsseldorf, Germany.
JARA-BRAIN, Jülich-Aachen Research Alliance, 52425 Jülich, Germany.


The human pregenual anterior cingulate cortex (pACC) encompasses 7 distinct cyto- and receptorarchitectonic areas. We lack a detailed understanding of the functions in which they are involved, and stereotaxic maps are not available. We present an integrated structural/functional map of pACC based on probabilistic cytoarchitectonic mapping and meta-analytic connectivity modeling and quantitative functional decoding. Due to the restricted spatial resolution of functional imaging data relative to the microstructural parcellation, areas p24a of the callosal sulcus and p24b on the surface of the cingulate gyrus were merged into a "gyral component" (p24ab) of area p24, and areas pv24c, pd24cv, and pd24cd, located within the cingulate sulcus were merged into a "sulcal component" (p24c) for meta-analytic analysis. Area p24ab was specifically associated with interoception, p24c with the inhibition of action, and p32, which was also activated by emotion induction tasks pertaining negatively valenced stimuli, with the ability to experience empathy. Thus, area p32 could be classified as cingulate association cortex playing a crucial role in the cognitive regulation of emotion. By this spectrum of functions, pACC is a structurally and functionally heterogeneous region, clearly differing from other parts of the anterior and middle cingulate cortex.


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