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The inferior parietal cortex (IPC) is a heterogeneous region that is known to be involved in a multitude of diverse different tasks and processes, though its contribution to these often-complex functions is yet poorly understood. In a previous study we demonstrated that patients with depression failed to deactivate the left IPC during processing of congruent audiovisual information. We now found the same dysregulation (same region and condition) in schizophrenia. By using task-independent (resting state) and task-dependent meta-analytic connectivity modeling (MACM) analyses we aimed at characterizing this particular region with regard to its connectivity and function. Across both approaches, results revealed functional connectivity of the left inferior parietal seed region with bilateral IPC, precuneus and posterior cingulate cortex (PrC/PCC), medial orbitofrontal cortex (mOFC), left middle frontal (MFG) as well as inferior frontal (IFG) gyrus. Network-level functional characterization further revealed that on the one hand, all interconnected regions are part of a network involved in memory processes. On the other hand, sub-networks are formed when emotion, language, social cognition and reasoning processes are required. Thus, the IPC-region that is dysregulated in both depression and schizophrenia is functionally connected to a network of regions which, depending on task demands may form sub-networks. These results therefore indicate that dysregulation of left IPC in depression and schizophrenia might not only be connected to deficits in audiovisual integration, but is possibly also associated to impaired memory and deficits in emotion processing in these patient groups.
Müller VI, Cieslik EC, Laird AR, Fox PT and Eickhoff SB (2013) Dysregulated left inferior parietal activity in schizophrenia and depression: functional connectivity and characterization. Front. Hum. Neurosci. 7:268. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2013.00268