Recent evidence suggests considerable overlap between the default mode network (DMN) and regions involved in social, affective and introspective processes. We considered these overlapping regions as the social-affective part of the DMN. In this study, we established a robust mapping of the underlying brain network formed by these regions and those strongly connected to them (the extended social-affective default network). We first seeded meta-analytic connectivity modeling and resting-state analyses in the meta-analytically defined DMN regions that showed statistical overlap with regions associated with social and affective processing. Consensus connectivity of each seed was subsequently delineated by a conjunction across both connectivity analyses. We then functionally characterized the ensuing regions and performed several cluster analyses. Among the identified regions, the amygdala/hippocampus formed a cluster associated with emotional processes and memory functions. The ventral striatum, anterior cingulum, subgenual cingulum and ventromedial prefrontal cortex formed a heterogeneous subgroup associated with motivation, reward and cognitive modulation of affect. Posterior cingulum/precuneus and dorsomedial prefrontal cortex were associated with mentalizing, self-reference and autobiographic information. The cluster formed by the temporo-parietal junction and anterior middle temporal sulcus/gyrus was associated with language and social cognition. Taken together, the current work highlights a robustly interconnected network that may be central to introspective, socio-affective, that is, self- and other-related mental processes.
- Default mode network
- Meta-analytic connectivity modeling
- Resting-state functional connectivity
- Social cognition
ASJC Scopus subject areas