Distal Functional Connectivity of Known and Emerging Cortical Targets for Therapeutic Noninvasive Stimulation.

06 Feb 2018

Noninvasive stimulation is an emerging modality for the treatment of psychiatric disorders, including addiction. A crucial element in effective cortical target selection is its distal influence. We approached this question by examining resting-state functional connectivity patterns in known and potential stimulation targets in 145 healthy adults. We compared connectivity patterns with distant regions of particular relevance in the development and maintenance of addiction. We used stringent Bonferroni-correction for multiple comparisons. We show how the anterior insula, dorsal anterior cingulate and ventromedial prefrontal cortex had opposing functional connectivity with striatum compared to the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex. However, the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, the currently preferred target, and the pre-supplementary motor area had strongest negative connections to amygdala and hippocampus. Our findings highlight differential and opposing influences as a function of cortical site, underscoring the relevance of careful cortical target selection dependent on the desired effect on subcortical structures. We show the relevance of dorsal anterior cingulate and ventromedial prefrontal cortex as emerging cortical targets, and further emphasize the anterior insula as a potential promising target in addiction treatment, given its strong connections to ventral striatum, putamen and substantia nigra.