Poster Session F, Tuesday, March 26, 8:00 – 10:00 am, Pacific Concourse
Insular Functionally Connected Sub-regions of Healthy Developing Youth
Aliyah Jones1, Biao Cai2, 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 studies identified three clusters as insular sub regions of shared functional connectivity with other brain regions. This study implements a similar clustering procedure to measure connectivity differences across age and cognitive ability. Subjects (N=864) collected from the Philadelphia Neurodevelopmental Cohort (PNC) consisting of youths aged 8-21 years were used to compute insular clusters and to measure connectivity correlations. Results showed that there were three clusters within the left hemisphere of the insula and three clusters within the right hemisphere. A linear regression showed that the strength of connectivity of the insular cortex clusters, in both left and right hemispheres decreased with age to most brain regions, except posterior cingulate, insular cortex, precentral gyrus, and parahippo-campal gyrus. This data suggests that insular clusters in developing youth are similar to adult insular organization, but that perhaps learning and cognitive development diminish the influence of salience network. Insular connectivity with default mode network regions are maintained potentially aiding stable self-reference. This is the first step towards increased understanding of how insular cortex organizes with other brain regions during early life.
Topic Area: NEUROANATOMY