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Keywords:

  • fMRI;
  • Anterior cingulate;
  • Functional connectivity;
  • Cognition;
  • Emotion;
  • Stroop

Abstract

Functional differentiation of dorsal (dACC) and rostral (rACC) anterior cingulate cortex for cognitive and emotional function has received considerable indirect support. Using fMRI, parallel tasks, and within-subject analysis, the present study directly tested the proposed specialization of ACC subdivisions. A Task × Region interaction confirmed more dACC activation during color-word distractors and more rACC activation during emotion-word distractors. Activity in ACC subdivisions differentially predicted behavioral performance. Connectivity with prefrontal and limbic regions also supported distinct dACC and rACC roles. Findings provide direct evidence for differential engagement of ACC subdivisions in cognitive and emotional processing and for differential functional connectivity in the implementation of cognitive control and emotion regulation. Results point to an anatomical and functional continuum rather than segregated operations.