The Connectivity Fingerprint of the Human Frontal Cortex, Subthalamic Nucleus, and Striatum

Bethany R. Isaacs, Birte U. Forstmann, Yasin Temel, Max C. Keuken*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

Within the cortico basal ganglia (BG)-thalamic network, the direct and indirect pathways comprise of projections from the cortex to the striatum (STR), whereas the hyperdirect pathway(s) consist of cortical projections toward the subthalamic nucleus (STN). Each pathway possesses a functionally distinct role for action selection. The current study quantified and compared the structural connectivity between 17 distinct cortical areas with the STN and STR using 7 Tesla diffusion weighted magnetic resonance imaging (dMRI) and resting-state functional MRI (rs-fMRI) in healthy young subjects. The selection of these cortical areas was based on a literature search focusing on animal tracer studies. The results indicate that, relative to other cortical areas, both the STN and STR showed markedly weaker structural connections to areas assumed to be essential for action inhibition such as the inferior frontal cortex pars opercularis. Additionally, the cortical connectivity fingerprint of the STN and STR indicated relatively strong connections to areas related to voluntary motor initiation such as the cingulate motor area and supplementary motor area. Overall the results indicated that the cortical-STN connections were sparser compared to the STR. There were two notable exceptions, namely for the orbitofrontal cortex and ventral medial prefrontal cortex, where a higher tract strength was found for the STN. These two areas are thought to be involved in reward processing and action bias.
Original languageEnglish
Article number60
Number of pages18
JournalFrontiers in Neuroanatomy
Volume12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jul 2018

Keywords

  • 7T MRI
  • basal ganglia
  • connectivity
  • DWI
  • RS-fMRI
  • PRIMARY MOTOR CORTEX
  • PREFRONTAL CORTICAL PROJECTIONS
  • CORTICOSUBTHALAMIC INPUT ZONES
  • PERCEPTUAL DECISION-MAKING
  • DEEP BRAIN-STIMULATION
  • BASAL GANGLIA CIRCUITS
  • HUMAN CEREBRAL-CORTEX
  • VOGT-VOGT SCHOOL
  • MACAQUE MONKEY
  • EYE FIELD

Cite this