Brodmann Areas – Part 3: Area 25. The Anterior Cingulate Cortex – A Brief Literature Review

Hagmann et al, Creative Commons 2.5, Plos Biology

As part of a series on the Brodmann Areas, this is a brief overview of some of the literature on Brodmann Area 25 – the Anterior Cingulate Cortex (ACC).  The ACC is functionally and anatomically closely related to the Insular Cortex (see also reviews below on the Insular Cortex). The ACC contains a special type of cell called the Von Economo Neuron (see this review article). These cells also found in the Insular Cortex and are massively interconnected with cells throughout the brain and although present in other primates are significantly more abundant in humans (although obviously brain volume is correspondingly increased in humans). The ACC has been associated with psychophysiological functions including empathy, salience networks, performance on  reward related tasks, creativity and insight, meditation, risk assessment, brain-gut interactions, empathy for pain, the umami taste, interoception (along with the insular cortex) which is related to a number of the above functions, switching from automatic to controlled behaviours, and the placebo response. In pathology, the ACC has been associated with depression, dyspnoea, irritable bowel syndrome, pain, psychosis (and more specifically schizophrenia), autism, substance misuse, panic disorder (see also this review article), borderline personality disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anorexia, Tourette SyndromeFragile X syndrome and also with antisocial traits, The association with depression has been investigated in relation to social rejection. The reader may be impressed by the vast array of important physiological and pathophysiological associations of the ACC and there are two obvious implications. The first is that the ACC is a structure of profound biological importance and one which plays a role in many illness conditions as outlined above. The other possibility is that given the  interconnectivity of the ACC (possibly due to the Von Economo Neurons) it is active during many brain processes covering a variety of activities. In other words it may form a part of multiple brain networks distinguishing it from most other brain regions. Here the ACC can be conceptualised as a centre for transmitting interoceptive information to other brain regions for further processing. The research above as well as other studies in the field present a challenging question of just what the role of the ACC is and how it can be associated with so many different phenomenon.

Appendix – Articles Reviewed in relation to Brodmann Areas or other Structures

Brodmann Area 1 – Somatosensory Cortex

An Investigation of D3 Receptors and Brodmann Area 1 in Schizophrenia

YouTubing the Somatosensory Cortex

Brodmann Area 2 – The Primary Motor Cortex

Brodmann Areas – Part 2: Area 4. The Primary Motor Cortex – A Brief Literature Review

YouTubing the Motor Cortex

Brodmann Area 6 (Agranular Frontal Area 6)

FDG-PET, Frontal Dysfunction and Mild Cognitive Impairment

Brodmann Areas 13 and 14 (Insular Cortex)

What does the Insular Cortex Do Again?

Insular Cortex Infarction in Acute Middle Cerebral Artery Territory Stroke

The Insular Cortex and Neuropsychiatric Disorders

Developing a Model of the Insular Cortex and Emotional Regulation Part 1

Developing a Model of the Insular Cortex: A Recap

The Relationship of Blood Pressure to Subcortical Lesions

Pathobiology of Visceral Pain

Interoception and the Insular Cortex

A Case of Neurogenic T-Wave Inversion

Video Presentations on a Model of the Insular Cortex

MR Visualisations of the Insula

The Subjective Experience of Pain*

How Do You Feel? Interoception: The Sense of the Physiological Condition of the Body

How Do You Feel – Now? The Anterior Insula and Human Awareness

Role of the Insular Cortex in the Modulation of Pain

The Insular Cortex and Frontotemporal Dementia

A Case of Infarct Connecting the Insular Cortex and the Heart

The Insular Cortex: Part of the Brain that Connects Smell and Taste?

Stuttered Swallowing and the Insular Cortex

Brodmann Area 15 (Anterior Temporal Lobe – Controversial Area in Humans)

Review: The Anterior Temporal Lobes and Semantic Memory

Brodmann Area 27 (Piriform Cortex)

Anosmia in Lewy Body Dementia

Brodmann Area 28  (Entorhinal Cortex)

MRI Measures of Temporoparietal Atrophy During Prodromal Alzheimer Disease*

Brodmann Areas 45, 46, 47 (Inferior Frontal Gyrus)

Which Bit of the Brain Detects the Emotions in Speech?

Medial Temporal Lobe

The Medial Temporal Lobe and Recognition Memory


Review: Differences in Hippocampal Metabolism Between Amnestic and Non-Amnestic MCI Subjects

Anatomy of the Hippocampus

Review: Involvement of BDNF in Age-Dependent Alterations in the Hippocampus

Miscellaneous Subcortical Structures

Book Review: Subcortical Vascular Dementia

Review: Subcortical Vascular Ischaemic Dementia

Review: Psychiatric Disturbances in CADASIL

Review: Cognitive Decline in CADASIL

Review: Relationship Between 24-hour Blood Pressure, Subcortical Ischemic Lesions and Cognitive Impairment

Hypocretin and Neurological Disorders

A Case of Pontine and Extrapontine Myelinolysis with Catatonia

Generic Articles Relating to Localisation

A History of Human Brain Mapping

Book Review: Brain Architecture

Brain Folding and the Size of the Human Cerebral Cortex

An index of the site can be found here. The page contains links to all of the articles in the blog in chronological order. Twitter: You can follow ‘The Amazing World of Psychiatry’ Twitter by clicking on this link. Podcast: You can listen to this post on Odiogo by clicking on this link (there may be a small delay between publishing of the blog article and the availability of the podcast). It is available for a limited period. TAWOP Channel: You can follow the TAWOP Channel on YouTube by clicking on this link. Responses: If you have any comments, you can leave them below or alternatively e-mail Disclaimer: The comments made here represent the opinions of the author and do not represent the profession or any body/organisation. The comments made here are not meant as a source of medical advice and those seeking medical advice are advised to consult with their own doctor. The author is not responsible for the contents of any external sites that are linked to in this blog.

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