Subcortical Anatomy of the Default Mode Network: a functional and structural connectivity study
Most existing research into the default-mode network (DMN) has taken a corticocentric approach. Despite the resemblance of the DMN with the unitary model of the limbic system, the anatomy and contribution of subcortical structures to the network may be underappreciated due to methods limitation. Here, we propose a new and more comprehensive neuroanatomical model of the DMN including the basal forebrain and anterior and mediodorsal thalamic nuclei and cholinergic nuclei. This has been achieved by considering functional territories during interindividual brain alignment. Additionally, tractography of diffusion-weighted imaging was employed to explore the structural connectivity of the DMN and revealed that the thalamus and basal forebrain had high importance in term of values of node degree and centrality in the network. The contribution of these neurochemically diverse brain nuclei reconciles previous neuroimaging with neuropathological findings in diseased brain and offers the potential for identifying a conserved homologue of the DMN in other mammalian species.
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