Precuneus is a functional core of the default-mode network.
Efforts to understand the functional architecture of the brain have consistently identified multiple overlapping large-scale neural networks that are observable across multiple states. Despite the ubiquity of these networks, it remains unclear how regions within these large-scale neural networks interact to orchestrate behavior. Here, we collected functional magnetic resonance imaging data from 188 human subjects who engaged in three cognitive tasks and a resting-state scan. Using multiple tasks and a large sample allowed us to use split-sample validations to test for replication of results. We parceled the task-rest pairs into functional networks using a probabilistic spatial independent components analysis. We examined changes in connectivity between task and rest states using dual-regression analysis, which quantifies voxelwise connectivity estimates for each network of interest while controlling for the influence of signals arising from other networks and artifacts. Our analyses revealed systematic state-dependent functional connectivity in one brain region: the precuneus. Specifically, task performance led to increased connectivity (compared with rest) between the precuneus and the right frontoparietal network, whereas rest increased connectivity between the precuneus and the default-mode network (DMN). The absolute magnitude of this effect was greater for DMN, suggesting a heightened specialization for resting-state cognition. All results replicated within the two independent samples. Our results indicate that the precuneus plays a core role not only in DMN, but also more broadly through its engagement under a variety of processing states.
Utevsky, AV; Smith, DV; Huettel, SA
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