Human orbital and anterior medial prefrontal cortex: Intrinsic connectivity parcellation and functional organization

Zoe Samara, E.A.T. Evers, Alexandros Goulas, HBM Uylings, Grazyna Rajkowska, J.G. Ramaekers, P. Stiers

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23 Citations (Scopus)


The orbital and medial prefrontal cortex (OMPFC) has been implicated in decision-making, reward and emotion processing, and psychopathology, such as depression and obsessive–compulsive disorder. Human and monkey anatomical studies indicate the presence of various cortical subdivisions and suggest that these are organized in two extended networks, a medial and an orbital one. Attempts have been made to replicate these neuroanatomical findings in vivo using MRI techniques for imaging connectivity. These revealed several consistencies, but also many inconsistencies between reported results. Here, we use fMRI resting-state functional connectivity (FC) and data-driven modularity optimization to parcellate the OMPFC to investigate replicability of in vivo parcellation more systematically. By collecting two resting-state data sets per participant, we were able to quantify the reliability of the observed modules and their boundaries. Results show that there was significantly more than chance overlap in modules and their boundaries at the level of individual data sets. Moreover, some of these consistent boundaries significantly co-localized across participants. Hierarchical clustering showed that the whole-brain FC profiles of the OMPFC subregions separate them in two networks, a medial and orbital one, which overlap with the organization proposed by Barbas and Pandya (J Comp Neurol 286:353–375, 1989) and Ongür and Price (Cereb Cortex 10:206–219, 2000). We conclude that in vivo resting-state FC can delineate reliable and neuroanatomically plausible subdivisions that agree with established cytoarchitectonic trends and connectivity patterns, while other subdivisions do not show the same consistency across data sets and studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2941-2960
Number of pages20
JournalBrain Structure and Function
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2017


  • Functional connectivity
  • Human
  • MRI
  • Modularity
  • Orbital-medial prefrontal cortex
  • Parcellation

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