Differential functional connectivity of rostral anterior cingulate cortex during emotional interference

Akos Szekely, Rebecca L. Silton, Wendy Heller, Gregory A. Miller, Aprajita Mohanty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The rostral-ventral subdivision of the anterior cingulate cortex (rACC) plays a key role in the regulation of emotional processing. Although rACC has strong anatomical connections with anterior insular cortex (AIC), amygdala, prefrontal cortex and striatal brain regions, it is unclear whether the functional connectivity of rACC with these regions changes when regulating emotional processing. Furthermore, it is not known whether this connectivity changes with deficits in emotion regulation seen in different kinds of anxiety and depression. To address these questions regarding rACC functional connectivity, non-patients high in self-reported anxious apprehension (AP), anxious arousal (AR), anhedonic depression (AD) or none (CON) indicated the ink color of pleasant, neutral and unpleasant words during functional magnetic resonance imaging. While ignoring task-irrelevant unpleasant words, AD and CON showed an increase in the functional connectivity of rACC with AIC, putamen, caudate and ventral pallidum. There was a decrease in this connectivity in AP and AR, with AP showing greater reduction than AR. These findings provide support for the role of rACC in integrating interoceptive, emotional and cognitive functions via interactions with insula and striatal regions during effective emotion regulation in healthy individuals and a failure of this integration that may be specific to anxiety, particularly AP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)476-486
Number of pages11
JournalSocial Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017


  • Anxiety
  • Cingulate
  • Emotion
  • FMRI
  • Functional connectivity
  • Insula

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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