Differential engagement of anterior cingulate cortex subdivisions for cognitive and emotional function

Authors

  • Aprajita Mohanty,

    1. Institute for Neuroscience and Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer's Disease Center, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, USA
    2. Beckman Institute Biomedical Imaging Center, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois, USA
    3. Department of Psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois, USA
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  • Anna S. Engels,

    1. Beckman Institute Biomedical Imaging Center, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois, USA
    2. Department of Psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois, USA
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  • John D. Herrington,

    1. Beckman Institute Biomedical Imaging Center, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois, USA
    2. Department of Psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois, USA
    3. Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA
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  • Wendy Heller,

    1. Beckman Institute Biomedical Imaging Center, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois, USA
    2. Department of Psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois, USA
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  • Moon-Ho Ringo Ho,

    1. Department of Psychology, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    2. Department of Psychology, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
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  • Marie T. Banich,

    1. Department of Psychology and Institute of Cognitive Science, University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, Colorado, USA
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  • Andrew G. Webb,

    1. Department of Bioengineering, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, USA
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  • Stacie L. Warren,

    1. Beckman Institute Biomedical Imaging Center, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois, USA
    2. Department of Psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois, USA
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  • Gregory A. Miller

    1. Beckman Institute Biomedical Imaging Center, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois, USA
    2. Department of Psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois, USA
    3. Department of Psychiatry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois, USA
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  • This research was supported by the National Institute of Drug Abuse (R21 DA14111), the National Institute of Mental Health (R01 MH61358, T32 MH14257, T32 MH19554), and the University of Illinois Beckman Institute and Intercampus Research Initiative in Biotechnology. Anna S. Engels was a predoctoral trainee in the Cognitive Psychophysiology training program of the Department of Psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, under NIMH Grant T32 MH19554. John D. Herrington was a predoctoral trainee in the Quantitative Methods training program of the Department of Psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, under NIMH Grant T32 MH14257.

  • The authors thank Emily Cahill, Nancy Dodge, Rebecca Levin, Sarah Sass, Brad Sutton, Holly Tracy, and Tracey Wszalek for their contributions to this project.

Address reprint requests to: Gregory A. Miller, Department of Psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, 603 E. Daniel Street, Champaign, IL 61820, USA. E-mail: gamiller@uiuc.edu

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.

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