Suppressing Anterior Cingulate Cortex Modulates Default Mode Network and Behavior in Awake Rats

Wenyu Tu, Zilu Ma, Yuncong Ma, David Dopfel, Nanyin Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


The default mode network (DMN) is a principal brain network in the mammalian brain. Although the DMN in humans has been extensively studied with respect to network structure, function, and clinical implications, our knowledge of DMN in animals remains limited. In particular, the functional role of DMN nodes, and how DMN organization relates to DMN-relevant behavior are still elusive. Here we investigated the causal relationship of inactivating a pivotal node of DMN (i.e., dorsal anterior cingulate cortex [dACC]) on DMN function, network organization, and behavior by combining chemogenetics, resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rsfMRI) and behavioral tests in awake rodents. We found that suppressing dACC activity profoundly changed the activity and connectivity of DMN, and these changes were associated with altered DMN-related behavior in animals. The chemo-rsfMRI-behavior approach opens an avenue to mechanistically dissecting the relationships between a specific node, brain network function, and behavior. Our data suggest that, like in humans, DMN in rodents is a functional network with coordinated activity that mediates behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)312-323
Number of pages12
JournalCerebral Cortex
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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