Insular Functionally Connected Sub-regions of Healthy Developing Youth
Aliyah Jones1, Yu-Ping Wang2, Jeremy D. Cohen1; 1Xavier University of Louisiana, 2Tulane University
Insular Cortex is a multimodal region with connectivity throughout the brain and involved in a wide range of cognitive functions. Typical analysis of fMRI data creates activation maps by testing each voxel separately for correlation with an experimental paradigm or preforming a statistical analysis on a specific region of interest (ROI). A cluster-based analysis creates activation maps, which gives each voxel in the acquisition volume a priori chance of being discovered. Previous functional connectivity studies employing cluster analyses of insular cortex in adults show a range of 2 to 8 distinct functional clusters. The goal of this study was to identify insular sub-regions of shared functional connectivity with other brain regions using cluster analysis. Subjects (N=247) collected from the Philadelphia Neurodevelopmental Cohort (PNC) consisting of youths aged 8-21 years were used to compute insular clusters. Results showed activation in the anterior/middle region that was connected to anterior cingulate cortex and parietal insular regions, the posterior granular area connected to the somatomotor cortices and posterior cingulate, and the transitional dysgranular area connected to the anterior cingulate cortex. This data suggests that insular clusters in developing youth are similar to adult insular organization. This is the first step towards increased understanding of how insular cortex organizes with other brain regions during early life.
Topic Area: NEUROANATOMY