Parallel distributed networks resolved at high resolution reveal close juxtaposition of distinct regions

Rodrigo M. Braga*, Koene R.A. Van Dijk, Jonathan R. Polimeni, Mark C. Eldaief, Randy L. Buckner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


Examination of large-scale distributed networks within the individual reveals details of cortical network organization that are absent in group-averaged studies. One recent discovery is that a distributed transmodal network, often referred to as the “default network,” comprises two closely interdigitated networks, only one of which is coupled to posterior parahippocampal cortex. Not all studies of individuals have identified the same networks, and questions remain about the degree to which the two networks are separate, particularly within regions hypothesized to be interconnected hubs. In this study we replicate the observation of network separation across analytical (seed-based connectivity and parcellation) and data projection (volume and surface) methods in two individuals each scanned 31 times. Additionally, three individuals were examined with highresolution (7T; 1.35 mm) functional magnetic resonance imaging to gain further insight into the anatomical details. The two networks were identified with separate regions localized to adjacent portions of the cortical ribbon, sometimes inside the same sulcus. Midline regions previously implicated as hubs revealed near complete spatial separation of the two networks, displaying a complex spatial topography in the posterior cingulate and precuneus. The network coupled to parahippocampal cortex also revealed a separate region directly within the hippocampus, at or near the subiculum. These collective results support that the default network is composed of at least two spatially juxtaposed networks. Fine spatial details and juxtapositions of the two networks can be identified within individuals at high resolution, providing insight into the network organization of association cortex and placing further constraints on interpretation of group-averaged neuroimaging data. NEW & NOTEWORTHY Recent evidence has emerged that canonical large-scale networks such as the “default network” fractionate into parallel distributed networks when defined within individuals. This research uses high-resolution imaging to show that the networks possess juxtapositions sometimes evident inside the same sulcus and within regions that have been previously hypothesized to be network hubs. Distinct circumscribed regions of one network were also resolved in the hippocampal formation, at or near the parahippocampal cortex and subiculum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1513-1534
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of neurophysiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Association cortex
  • Default network
  • Hippocampus
  • Subiculum
  • Uk biobank

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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