The heterogeneous neuronal subgroups of the basal forebrain corticopetal system (BFcs) have been shown to modulate cortical functions through their cholinergic, gamma-aminobutyric acid-ergic, and glutamatergic projections to the entire cortex. Although previous studies suggested that the basalo-cortical projection system influences various cognitive functions, particularly via its cholinergic component, these studies only focused on certain parts of the BFcs or nearby structures, leaving aside a more systematic picture of the functional connectivity of BFcs subcompartments. Moreover, these studies lacked the high-spatial resolution and the probability maps needed to identify specific subcompartments. Recent advances in the ultra-high field 7T functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) provided potentially unprecedented spatial resolution of functional MRI images to study the subdivision of the BFcs. In this study, the BF space containing corticopetal cells was divided into 3 functionally distinct subdivisions based on functional connection to cortical regions derived from fMRI. The overall functional connection of each BFcs subdivision was examined with a test-retest study. Finally, a meta-analysis was used to study the related functional topics of each BF subdivision. Our results demonstrate distinct functional connectivity patterns of these subdivisions along the rostrocaudal axis of the BF. All three compartments have shown consistent segregation and overlap at specific target regions including the hippocampus, insula, thalamus, and the cingulate gyrus, suggesting functional integration and separation in BFcs.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cognitive Neuroscience
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
- basal forebrain