The semantic network at work and rest: Differential connectivity of anterior temporal lobe subregions

Rebecca L. Jackson, Paul Hoffman, Gorana Pobric, Matthew A Lambon Ralph

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The anterior temporal lobe (ATL) makes a critical contribution to semantic cognition. However, the functional connectivity of the ATL and the functional network underlying semantic cognition has not been elucidated. In addition, subregions of the ATL have distinct functional properties and thus the potential differential connectivity between these subregions requires investigation. We explored these aims using both resting-state and active semantic task data in humans in combination with a dual-echo gradient echo planar imaging (EPI) paradigm designed to ensure signal throughout the ATL. In the resting-state analysis, the ventral ATL (vATL) and anterior middle temporal gyrus (MTG) were shown to connect to areas responsible for multimodal semantic cognition, including bilateral ATL, inferior frontal gyrus, medial prefrontal cortex, angular gyrus, posterior MTG, and medial temporal lobes. In contrast, the anterior superior temporal gyrus (STG)/superior temporal sulcus was connected to a distinct set of auditory and language-related areas, including bilateral STG, precentral and postcentral gyri, supplementary motor area, supramarginal gyrus, posterior temporal cortex, and inferior and middle frontal gyri. Complementary analyses of functional connectivity during an active semantic task were performed using a psychophysiological interaction (PPI) analysis. The PPI analysis highlighted the same semantic regions suggesting a core semantic network active during rest and task states. This supports the necessity for semantic cognition in internal processes occurring during rest. The PPI analysis showed additional connectivity of the vATL to regions of occipital and frontal cortex. These areas strongly overlap with regions found to be sensitive to executively demanding, controlled semantic processing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1490-1501
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 3 Feb 2016


Dive into the research topics of 'The semantic network at work and rest: Differential connectivity of anterior temporal lobe subregions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this