Specific default mode subnetworks support mentalizing as revealed through opposing network recruitment by social and semantic FMRI tasks

Christopher J. Hyatt, Vince D. Calhoun, Godfrey D. Pearlson, Michal Assaf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The ability to attribute mental states to others, or “mentalizing,” is posited to involve specific subnetworks within the overall default mode network (DMN), but this question needs clarification. To determine which default mode (DM) subnetworks are engaged by mentalizing processes, we assessed task-related recruitment of DM subnetworks. Spatial independent component analysis (sICA) applied to fMRI data using relatively high-order model (75 components). Healthy participants (n = 53, ages 17–60) performed two fMRI tasks: an interactive game involving mentalizing (Domino), a semantic memory task (SORT), and a resting state fMRI scan. sICA of the two tasks split the DMN into 10 subnetworks located in three core regions: medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC; five subnetworks), posterior cingulate/precuneus (PCC/PrC; three subnetworks), and bilateral temporoparietal junction (TPJ). Mentalizing events increased recruitment in five of 10 DM subnetworks, located in all three core DMN regions. In addition, three of these five DM subnetworks, one dmPFC subnetwork, one PCC/PrC subnetwork, and the right TPJ subnetwork, showed reduced recruitment by semantic memory task events. The opposing modulation by the two tasks suggests that these three DM subnetworks are specifically engaged in mentalizing. Our findings, therefore, suggest the unique involvement of mentalizing processes in only three of 10 DM subnetworks, and support the importance of the dmPFC, PCC/PrC, and right TPJ in mentalizing as described in prior studies. Hum Brain Mapp 36:3047–3063, 2015.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3047-3063
Number of pages17
JournalHuman Brain Mapping
Volume36
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - 2015

Keywords

  • default mode network
  • fMRI
  • functional connectivity
  • mentalizing
  • semantic memory
  • spatial ICA
  • theory of mind

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Specific default mode subnetworks support mentalizing as revealed through opposing network recruitment by social and semantic FMRI tasks'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this