Development of anterior cingulate functional connectivity from late childhood to early adulthood

A. M.Clare Kelly, Adriana Di Martino, Lucina Q. Uddin, Zarrar Shehzad, Dylan G. Gee, Philip T. Reiss, Daniel S. Margulies, F. Xavier Castellanos, Michael P. Milham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Human cerebral development is remarkably protracted. Although microstructural processes of neuronal maturation remain accessible only to morphometric post-mortem studies, neuroimaging tools permit the examination of macrostructural aspects of brain development. The analysis of resting-state functional connectivity (FC) offers novel possibilities for the investigation of cerebral development. Using seed-based FC methods, we examined the development of 5 functionally distinct cingulate-based intrinsic connectivity networks (ICNs) in children (n = 14, 10.6 ± 1.5 years), adolescents (n = 12, 15.4 ± 1.2) and young adults (n=14, 22.4 ± 1.2). Children demonstrated a more diffuse pattern of correlation with voxels proximal to the seed region of interest (ROI) ("local FC"), whereas adults exhibited more focal patterns of FC, as well as a greater number of significantly correlated voxels at long distances from the seed ROI. Adolescents exhibited intermediate patterns of FC. Consistent with evidence for different maturational time courses, ICNs associated with social and emotional functions exhibited the greatest developmental effects. Our findings demonstrate the utility of FC for the study of developing functional organization. Moreover, given that ICNs are thought to have an anatomical basis in neuronal connectivity, measures of FC may provide a quantitative index of brain maturation in healthy subjects and those with neurodevelopmental disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)640-657
Number of pages18
JournalCerebral Cortex
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2009
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Stavros S. Niarchos Foundation, the Leon Lowenstein Foundation, NARSAD (The Mental Health Research Association) grants to F.X.C.; and Linda and Richard Schaps, Jill and Bob Smith, and the Taubman Foundation gifts to F.X.C.


  • Anterior cingulate
  • BA 25
  • Development
  • Functional connectivity
  • Self-regulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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